Monday, September 29, 2008

Weekend Wrapup in 8 Minutes

Jason and I had the best weekend ever. It wasn't like we did anything super cool, but we did a whole hell of a lot. And since work starts in like 7 minutes.....I'm going to the awesomeness that is bullet points

  • Early morning photographs at the lake
  • Breakfast and reading at Panera for ~2 hours
  • Borders browsing for books on design as I'm clueless on most of that, plus a book on learning Adobe Illustrator so I can keep up a bit better with the design guru at work
  • Worked on stripping an old dresser of some ugly red paint which proved to be harder than expected. But an afternoon  on the back deck in the sun and good weather = awesome
  • Relaxing on Saturday night
  • Up early for an 8 mile run in which we never felt good but got through it
  • Over to an awesome plant store on Ashland that a coworker told me about
  • Purchased three plants that I hope to keep alive for a few weeks anyways
  • Stopped a grocery store to get food for the week....less going out would be less enjoyable but probably smarter
  • Enjoyed a relaxing afternoon of napping, Cubs, West Wing and the Bears
So that's it. 

I'm super super excited to be a part of a RailsRumble team which will be happening in a few weeks. And that's all. Here we go with Monday. ... ok that took me more like 12 minutes, but you can't put a time limit on great writing...wait this isn't great writing. Shit. 

Friday, September 26, 2008


Everyone loves Friday. So hence it gets an exclamation point. 

Work has been going great this week. Last week I voiced my concerns about some issues I was having (I know right? This is a whole new thing for me...totally the opposite of my usual sit and stew and get pissy for a year and then say something) and this week my work flow did a 180. I was able to do some back end work as well as understanding a little bit of the front end stuff better so I could finally feel like I was contributing and not just being the kid in the back of the room with her hand raised all the time. Today I'm going to get to work on both front end design stuff as well as some back end functionality which will wrap up the week nicely. 

This weekend we have no plans except that I want to finish my book. I'm reading Atlas Shrugged (still!) and have gotten to the point of the last section of the book which is so awesome. When I read this book last time I was reading this section when I was visiting Jason in California and I would get up at 5 in the morning and sit on his Aunt's deck and read and read and read and not talk to everyone and hate everyone because they weren't all hanging out in the paradise of the world in Atlas Shrugged :-) Yes I know it's ridiculous...but whatever. So I'm not 20 anymore and so I don't hate everyone but I am totally into it, so much so that I almost missed my stop this morning. 

Jason and I received some bad news yesterday. A beloved IU physics professor died on Wednesday. He was just an awesome guy and kind of like a grandfather figure to me especially. So that's sad....he also passed away on my birthday. Anyways. Sad and kind of shocking because we didn't know he was sick. 

So alright. Happy Friday Everyone!

Oh and we ran last night too. 

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fabulous Close out to 29!

Last night Jason took me out to dinner at Mia Franchesca. If you live in Chicago I highly recommend this place. It's on Clark just north of School, on the East side of the street. It was fantastic. We had a bottle of wine, a salad and then I had the salmon and Jason had some gnocci. I mentioned to the waiter that it was my birthday and so he brought us over some Lemoncello as a toast to my 20s. We went home and played Rock Band which was my present from Jason which is awesome. I have noticed that as I get older my presents get noticeably younger...which is awesome and one way to keep the young spirit alive. Don't say awesome. Awesome. 

A big thank you to all the friends and family that sent cards and presents. Bridgette sent me some awesome shoes that I'm really excited about. Anyways. Here's to 30. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Last Day of My 29th Year

Tomorrow is my 29th Birthday. 

And if you think about it....when it's your birthday you have thus completed that year. When you are one, you turn one and start in on your second year. So in that thinking today I end my 29th year and start in on the 30th year tomorrow. Which I have to say I'm less than thrilled about. 29 sounds old. But sigh. At least it's not 30 I suppose. 

I'm sick which is why the posting has been non-existent. I seem to always be sick on my birthday which as I get older doesn't make it any easier to get up and be happy about being older. Anyways. It's fine. In good news, when it's your birthday you get presents and if you aren't happy about your birthday apparently you get more ... at least when you have a husband like mine. Jason has been bringing in the end of the 29th year in style with presents starting on Saturday and going to well...tomorrow I guess. 

This week we are supposed to start training for the marathon. I think we can get through a 3 mile run today and then tomorrow we are going to go out to dinner I guess. Then we'll run Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Hopefully I'll feel ok for that. 

I couldn't sleep at all last night. I kept worrying about things that I can't do anything about, which of course is totally insane. Then the train this morning was *really* crowded. I mean it's always pretty crowded but it was I'm standing on my tippy toes crowded. Doesn't help when it then has to stop because the train in front of you is stuck because the door is broken. Blech. 

Anyways. Work is awesome. I'm learning some cool Sass stuff which is interesting and fun. I less than three learning new things. And with that the day starts. 

Oh yeah...and How about them Cubs! Home Field advantage throughout the playoffs. Rock On! This could be the year. 

Friday, September 19, 2008

Drugged? Speaking Up! and 4 miles.

So. Yeah. 

My addiction to caffeine hit an all time high on Wednesday when I downed 3 espresso drinks, a bunch of coffee and diet cokes. Then I went out to Sheffields to have some drinks and dinner when Jason was at the Cubs game. It's a good thing that Jason wasn't there with me because there was a total racist asshole there and when Jason's with me I get a lot braver to stand up and stay something to people like that because I know that I probably won't get my ass kicked. In other words I get a lot tougher, but that night I was alone so I just said what I would say to him in my head. No I'm not crazy.  

I went home and played some guitar hero and watched the end of the game. Jason came up and I was so "weird" or something. Remember when redbull and vodka was the drink of choice for everyone and it was awesome cause you were like drunk but also buzzing from all the caffeine? Yeah. That's where I was on Wednesday night and it was less than enjoyable.

Hence on Thursday I had to cut the coffee drinks down. So I cut things by about half and I felt a ton better yesterday. 

I have had a pretty good week at work. I spent a lot of my time in graduate school angry and I think a lot of that was me not talking about things that were bothering me, or things that I could tell weren't working. This company has a very open policy of talking about how your daily work activity is going. It's a strange thing for me as I haven't been exposed to that kind of thing. And it's more than they are just ok with hearing it, they also want to try and make things better. So that's super cool. And I'm just proud of myself for speaking up as I noticed that it was a problem over the past few years and I'm trying to work on it. So yay me!

Yesterday Jason and I ran 4 miles. We have 7 miles on the docket for this weekend, but as tomorrow I am going to a conference and then in the evening we have a friend's 30th birthday party I don't know when we would get it in...and with the party on Saturday night I don't know how we'll be doing on Sunday. SO I am thinking we could do the 7 miles tonight as it's a beautiful day and the timing would be great. So that's the plan for now. 

Happy Friday all. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Forgetting Pushups. Genius Playlists, Running Again & Speedy Starbucks

Hmm...let's do that list backwards shall we. 

So there is a Starbucks a block from my job and I frequent them twice a day for my triple grande non-fat latte...remember when I gave up caffeine? Yeah I'm so over that. Anyways in the mornings the line is so super long but they have someone asking for your order and then telling the baristas what you pay and then your drink is on the counter. Anyways it's just a nice deal as no one really wants to wait for their coffee....AND I'm guessing cranky morning customers is the last thing that the Starbucks people want. Alright, well that is a lot less interesting than I thought it would be. Moving on. 

Yesterday Jason and I got home and did a simple 3 mile run. But as it was so super beautiful out, we went the long way and finished our run at about the lakefront path and Irving Park and so we had a bit of a walk home, which was ok as like I said, it was beautiful out. Next week starts our full on training for the Miami marathon. Jason is probably going to the Cubs game tonight (my family has an extra ticket...but as I got to go to a game a few weeks ago and he didn't I think it's his turn). So I don't know if he'll be able to run today. So we could move our runs to tomorrow, Friday and Saturday....(We are going to do our long run on Saturday as we have a party on Saturday night, and I'm just assuming I won't be in a running place on Sunday...however I also have a conference on Saturday...SO it will have to be a very early 7 miles). Speaking of the Cubs. How freakin' awesome have they been lately. The magic number is down to 4. 

I updated my iTunes and iPhone yesterday (there was some heartache because I tried to do it in the morning before I left, got impatient and just unplugged it before it was finished......if you do that apparently you have to restore it to factory settings. Boo.) Anyways, there is this new genius feature which is a lot like Pandora (or I have heard LastFM from a coworker) where you give it a song and it generates a playlist of songs that are related. It uses your own music though so there is no chance for discovering new music which makes Pandora so cool. However if you are like me, and tend to listen to one album over and over again, you do get to discover new music that you already have in your music library :-). I am testing it out on my iPhone and I gotta say I'm pretty pleased with it. 

On Monday we were supposed to start the 100 pushups plan......yeah we just totally forgot. Some wine, some beers at Sheffields, some Monday Night Football, some more wine and the pushups just got lost. 

Alright, so we go on to Wednesday....that means tomorrow is Thursday and we are past the 1/2 way mark.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Great Weekend

This past weekend was so super relaxing. Kind of ended up being forced relaxing though because it pretty much rained from Friday night to late Sunday afternoon. 

Friday night Jake and LaurA! came over which was fun as always. We played some Trivial Pursuit which Jason and I got schooled on....although I'm standing by the fact that you don't just win because you have more pie pieces, but it's time to go home so the game can't be completed. But that's just me and my I like to win things attitude. 

Saturday we woke up to tons of rain and we were oh so sad to have to leave our apartment and comfy pjs to run errands that had to be done. We headed to Target, Whole Foods, a knitting store near my apartment and Jewel. We got back around 2pm and decided to go out for a run as it was raining, but not cold and that's not a bad situation to run in. We went about 3 miles or so. On Saturday night my only friend from high school and her husband came over for dinner in the evening. We had lots of fun with them, closing out the evening to lots of Wii games, and watching Tina Fey on SNL portraying Sarah Palin. So. So. Funny. 

Sunday we woke up and sat around the house like slugs watching the rain and the darkness outside. We proceeded to watch moves, the Bears, the Colts, more movies and I learned how to cable knit which is super I have to learn how to crochet because the edges of these squares that I am making for this blanket need edging and I have *no idea* how to do that...anyways then we realized that the rain had stopped and so we forced ourselves to do our "long run" of 6 miles. I think the old Jason and Leah are starting to emerge again as the more recent Jason, Leah would have just said nah, put in another DVD! We felt really good on the run and I'm really excited to start training for the Miami marathon....oh yeah we need to sign up for that. 

Today we don't have any working out, but we are going to start looking at the 100 pushups thing that has been flying around the internet. We might also walk over to the lake with our books and do some reading outside... while we can as winter is coming soon. 

Running this week is looking that Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Next week the training officially starts. Should be fun to get back out there again. 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The End of the Path

Yesterday evening Jason and I planned to test out this whole biking thing that seems to be taking some people by storm. So after getting home, pumping the tires on the bike and getting our super cool looking helmets on we headed out. We have heavy mountain bikes so probably not the best for any kind of long distance biking but good enough to get an idea. We biked to the lakefront path and then continued north. All of a sudden we saw signs on Lakeshore Drive for Hollywood Blvd and I was all, "Holy ass we are far north" Of course....this isn't that much farther North than our current location. So we probably did about 9 miles (I forgot to hit the Garmin for the first mile or so). Not very far, but it's not nothing so that's good I guess. It's hard to ride those bikes far cause they are so heavy and are in dyer need for a tuneup and blah blah. But fun to get farther in a workout. The end of the path is funny as there is a sign that literally says, "This is the end of the path" There is a little roundabout and it's back south. 

After biking we put our bikes in the basement of our apartment building (so nice to be able to have those out of our apartment) and ran into our apartment, grabbed a grocery list and sweatshirts and headed back out to go to the store. We ended up being able to buy everything we needed for three meals and walked back home. We got home at about 8:05 and were able to shower and cook dinner by 8:35. It's so much easier to cook in our new place as there is counter space and it's a nice area to be in. Planning on cooking a lot more in the coming days (years?). It will help to already have groceries purchased and so that will be done this weekend. 

Tonight the cousin is coming over for dinner which should be fun. I am looking forward to showing her our new place. 

This week I am running the stand up meetings at work (not a big deal) and I need to conclude with something fun...or funny....hmm......wonder what to say. 

Tomorrow we are going to try and run in the morning as Jake and LaurA! are coming over to play on Friday night which should be way fun. A big congrats to Jake as his talk got accepted at a big Ruby Conference. 

Alright, thus we proceed to Thursday. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nice Tuesday Run

....except for the bitch with the dog that yelled at us. But whatever, I totally could have taken her and she's just lucky I backed off......but that's all on that. 

We went 3.4 miles and felt good the whole time. We stopped at Belmont and walked the mile back home. Feels great to be back into it a bit. I think especially because we are so close to the path and we enjoy running out there so much more. 

Today we are going to ride our bikes, stopping at the store on the way home to get some food. We are going to take backpacks and so hopefully we won't buy more than what fits in there. I don't think we'll have to try and run on Thursday morning or Friday morning because we have friends coming over on Thursday and Friday (I heart having people in our new place!). 

This weekend is going to be checking out a plant store on the Northside that my coworker Colin recommended. Hopefully we can find stuff that the cat won't get into too much. 

Alright, and it's Wednesday. 

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Long Weekend & Back on Running Train

This weekend we went to Fort Wayne to attend Jason's grandfather's funeral. It was a very long traditional Catholic deal and very somber although also very respectful and nice. The flower on the right was one that was in the arrangement that was on top of the coffin.

I have to admit that as a person who is not religious in nature, the guy that spoke at the Vigil concluding the viewings on Sunday night was *wonderful*. He really did a nice job talking about Al and brought things around to astronomy (Carl Sagan even!) and other things that he really liked and helped define him as a man. It was nice to walk away with something from that even if what I took wasn't a religious thing but rather just a better feeling. So I guess a kudos to Jim Fitzpatrick.

Jason went up earlier than his brothers since we don't have any thing going on like those two boys do. We made a big pot of chili for dinner on Saturday night and there are a ton of leftovers for his parents to munch on this week so that's good. In the same way as my Dad I guess.....just go early and help where you can.

We got back late last night and are looking forward to getting through this week and a relaxing weekend at home.

In other news we went running on Friday night. It's exactly one mile from our door to the lake front path. We did about 3.5 miles. It's *so* great being close to the path again. On the walk home we went to the Walgreen's on Broadway and Belmont. We used to live just about next door to this Walgreen's and back then there was a cashier that worked there that was awesome. Her name was Maurine and she might be a little crazy but we loved her all the same. Turns out she still works there which was awesome to find out.

We also ran for 30 minutes in Ft. Wayne on Sunday morning which was really nice as well. We have a plan to get our asses back into gear this week. We are going to run about 3.5 tonight and then also start adding in some biking just for some nice cross training. We might take our bikes to Kozy's tomorrow to get some real pedals and some bike shoes so that it would be a bit easier to start adding distance on the bikes. We have mountain bikes that are fairly nice and will be fine to get around the city and start some cross training. We always have big talk about biking though so we'll see what happens.

Alright, and it's Tuesday. So here we go.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Friends and Politics

You know there is nothing more annoying when friends won't listen to you when you make good points about politics. You know there is nothing more wonderful than arguing with friends about politics.

Mike and Barb came over for dinner last night. They were impressed with our new big place which made Jason and I happy. I made up some chicken enchiladas, with a couple of side dishes.

We ended up watching part of the RNC and I get too emotional when talking about politics and I always have (Jason and I have gone rounds in the past on issues) and I do like to play the "the other guy has no good points" angle. But always fun to talk about...frustrating....but fun and makes me know I want to know more about each team so I can argue well you're guy is old is not a good argument.. (well good enough anyways). Plus it's hard when you are arguing with people that are not going to shift an's not those people you have to talk to. It's the people that are on the fence....and those that don't live in Illinois where it might make a difference (Hi Mom!!!) that you have to talk to.

Today is Friday. Woot. Tonight Jason and I are going to be very exciting and do some laundry and watch Psych...which no one won my fun little game yesterday. Cloudy...Chance of Murder is an episode title from that show.

In other news our new mattress is too comfortable. I can't get out of bed in the mornings.

Tomorrow we go to Fort Wayne to be with Jason's parents and help out. Jason's grandfather's funeral is on Monday an the viewing is on Sunday. We are going early just to be there and help where we can.

Alright, well that's all from these parts. Happy Friday all.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Cloudy...Chance of Murder

No...just rain. Here comes fall in Chicago.

Anyone get the title reference? 5 points if you did.

Yesterday we had plans to run. But 5 hours of sleep and a full work day later we changed our mind. Plus I truly believe that exercise programs should start on Mondays. We did decide to go to the store though...and here is why I love where we live. We don't live super close to a grocery store....although I just measured the distance and it's less than a mile to the closest store. We didn't want to move our car last night because of the Cubs game and so we just decided to walk it. The Kansas kids are coming over for dinner tonight so we needed stuff for that and then stuff for dinner last.  We figured it wouldn't be that much and it wouldn't be that hard to carry it back. So we just did that. People don't walk enough in general I think. Jason and I walk *everywhere*....but something as easy as walking a mile or so to the grocery store and walking back....I don't think it happens that often. 

So that was good. 

We had a great time breaking in the new kitchen although we again have a super sensitive fire alarm that doesn't have a button to shut it off, or it's broken or something. We spent the rest of the night watching the Cubs lose another game and the Republican Convention. We watched both with our jaws on the floor. 

Today another work day but Mike and Barb are going to come over and tell us all about the Ironman race and watch the opening of the NFL season. Looking forward to seeing those crazy kids. 

Alright, I'm off....oh but I'm on facebook now. I have joined the dark side. 

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


This morning my grandpa died. We've been expecting it for some time, but it was still quite sad to get the call this morning.

My grandfather was an amazing man. He was an father, a grandfather, and a great grandfather. He was an electrical engineer and a veteran. His legacy is seen not only in his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, but in a historic quest that has been followed by people around the world. The Mars Rover, which has explored the rough terrain of Mars far longer than anyone believed possible, contains parts created by my grandpa.

He made his own telescope, a reflection of both his skill and his imagination.

His humor was subtle yet omnipresent, his nature always quiet.

Above all, the best gift is that all that is found in me. We share a sense of humor, a scientific mind, and a quiet nature and for that I thank him. I thank him for being a wonderful and caring grandpa. I thank him for helping raise a wonderful mother.

We will miss you, Grandpa.

Rest in Peace.

Wake Up Call

This morning at 5am our phone rang. Our phone has this thing where it speaks who is it's CALL FROM _______. This morning, the phone said, Jason's Folks (We programed them into our phone's address book so that is what it says when they call).

Jason flipped out of bed as he knew it was his mom calling.

Jason's grandfather died around 5am this morning.

This weekend we will be in Fort Wayne for the funeral. Jason's grandfather was really an incredible man. He was a really quiet and funny man and I'm so sad to see him go. I saw a lot of Jason in his lot of Jason's grandfather in him? I guess it should go that way. I hope Jason's mom knows we are thinking of her all the time in this tough time.

Now some bullet points...because I'm sleepy and seems all the rage on the internets these days....oooh and I'll use a numbered list instead of just points. There see, I'm different
  1. I think humans are like water and just fill the space they live in. This apartment is much bigger than our old place and yet we have managed to fill it up. I think it's true going the other way.
  2. I say we have a lot of stuff....and we do....but since we moved 2 years ago we have gotten rid of a *ton* of books. So that's good.
  3. Our new mattress looks like the Enterprise (so sayth Jason). It's huge and almost as high as our headboard. I guess we can get a different box spring that's half the height....but I don't know I kinda like feeling like a queen.
  4. RCN came and hooked up our cable and internet last night. The internet seems faster, and the digital cable is just as good as Comcast. Plus I don't have to be with evil evil Comcast.
  5. I went to the Cubs game last night. I mistakenly wore jeans and was sitting in the Terrace reserve behind home plate where there was no moving air. Lots of sweat.
  6. The Cubs have lost 4 in a row. This is after my Dad has bought airplane tickets to be home for the playoffs.
  7. This apartment has nothing wrong with it. Seriously. You know you move into a vintage charm apartment and there is a lot of "Wow....that's weird we have no water pressure or hot water. Awesome." or "Wait....what is that shelf doing there?". There is *none* of that here.
  8. We sat outside two nights ago and the folks from upstairs came down to introduce themselves. They are an older couple and just wanted to let us know that if their music is too loud just to let them know as apparently the previous tenents just would slip notes under the door. Apparently the woman that lived here was from New York City....go figure. I'm kidding. They couple owns The Smoke Shack and The Tonic Room in Lincoln Park which is kinda cool.
  9. Speaking of New York. Jason and I went to this place called New York Deli on Clark and Oakdale. The owner's name is David and he's really really friendly. He was born and raised in NYC but has lived all over the place. GREAT sandwiches and really good conversation. We will definently be back at that place.
  10. The commute to work is so much better from here. On the way home we get on the brown at the beginning of the Loop and so a seat is to be had.....probably will be a little on the crowded side in the mornings though...but so great to not have to do a transfer from bus to train or vice-versa
  11. Running......starting tonight!
  12. Work still going great and I'm learning a ton. My friend Jake gave a talk yesterday and did a nice job. He must have been a teacher or something in his past as he just has genral bullet points on his slides and then talks about them and not a bullet point for every word that comes out of his I do :-)
Alright, well there are the top 12 things going on in these parts. And it's time for these crazy kids to get to work!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


So many awesome things happened this weekend. 

First of all. This guy. Is an Ironman. Jason and I were glued to our twitter feeds all day on Sunday as we stepped around boxes waiting to see how he was doing. Congratulations my friend. You are crazy awesome. 

This weekend was moving weekend. I hate moving.  There is always the need for one more box, or more packing tape and where the hell is the Sharpie marker so I can mark this box of crap that I don't care about (literally Jason wrote "Random Shit" on one of the boxes). We moved our movers from Sunday afternoon to Saturday evening with a show up time of 6:30-8:30pm. We did some errands and packed most of the day. We had some Buger King for lunch (seriously I only seem to crave the King on moving day) and then my phone rang around 1:45. It was the movers, saying they could be there in an hour. I was like....uh....well no that won't work on our end as I was looking around all that shit still not in boxes. So we told them we could be ready in 2 hours and got on the packing. 

3:30 came around and Jason and I looked around, realized there was nothing we could do until they got there and so we headed outside to enjoy an Amstel Light. As we walked out the front door we saw a big ass yellow moving van, and realized they were out guys. We waved them down the alley, and an hour and 20 minutes later we were telling them where to go for the next apartment. (seriously people, hire movers, it's not that expensive and so easy).  

We went over to the new apartment, and the movers showed up about 15 minutes later. We are on the second floor apartment and so even more thrilled to have movers at that point. They quickly got all of our furniture in, although the door did have to come off the bedroom for our leather chair (the movers went though the back which is where our bedroom is) and we signed off that all was good. Locked up and ran back to the old apartment to run a mop over the floors, get any other last minute things, grab the cat and head back over. 

Saturday night we barely had the energy to flip the mattress over and fall down on it and pass out sans sheets, and we had to use the couch cushions for pillows as we had no idea where our pillows were. Sunday morning cranky from lack of comfortable sleep, we drug ourselves out of bed and looked into the second bedroom where we had the movers put all the boxes and wanted to curl up and cry as it looked impossible. 

But one box at a time, and we made progress and by the end of the day yesterday most of it was done except for the things that we want to put on the walls. 

Now that I have rambled on for so long I must go.....but let me say this. By far...this is the best apartment I have ever lived in. We are so happy there so far and just can't wait to keep on enjoying the apartment and the neighborhood. More to come about some restaurants we tried, the upstairs neighbors who own The Smoke Shack (Smoke House?) and The Tonic Room in Lincoln park, and the Mexican restaurant a block away that serves pitchers of margaritas.