Thursday, December 25, 2014

2014 Holiday

Welcome to the family, Garfield!
Manwich is a pro at this...
Merry Christmas from Sharona, Garfield, and Manwich!

We hope your holiday season is filled with family, friends, food, and cats in Santa hats!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Culinary adventure time!

One of the fun things about Purdue is the chance to experience fun things about different cultures thanks to my International friends. While saris are pretty and learning how to say 'hello' in six different languages is fun, I really enjoy the food.

The Canadian had been talking up poutine for a bit. Apparently, this combination of thick fries, brown gravy, and cheese curds is supposed to be Canada's gift to the world's taste buds? All the pictures I saw online didn't make it look awesome, but hey, I'm up for an adventure.

So Tuesday night, I cashed in my bowling bet victory and Mr. Canadian made poutine. Fries were from scratch (only one minor grease fire), gravy was from an envelope, and the cheese curds were (accidentally) garlic-flavored. [Minor aside re: cheese curds - what are they, exactly? The package had an explanation on it, which I didn't read, but it makes me a little nervous when food has to explain what it is...]

Aside from being hella salty, it was...decent? I don't know how to describe it, really. I wasn't sure what to expect. I mean, I like fries, and brown gravy is usually pretty good. Jury was out on cheese curds (garlic wasn't helping their case), but the overall combination was interesting (but in the good sort of way).

If I'm ever up in Canada, I'll give it another go. Maybe I'll appreciate it more if I get hit in the head with a hockey puck a time or two :)


For those of you playing along at home:
1.) What is your favorite non-American country?
2.) Most memorable international travel destination (or most desired!)?
3.) Favorite thing about Canada!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Confession time

I'm sure this will end up being a regular blog feature (once I get back to a regular blogging schedule...) because, honestly, everyone can admit to stuff like this. I'm not talking about Deep Dark Secrets but those little things that you sit there and wonder, "Huh, does this make me a terrible person/awful engineer/hypocritical feminist/slacker/etc?".

Glamour has a fun little section in their magazines each month called "Hey, It's OK..." that I really like. It's just fun stuff that probably more of us stress out about than you'd realize. Only once have I seen something that I actually do listed under the "It's NOT OK..." and I got all bummed till I realized I was reading a magazine from 2013 (I'm moving, ok, and purging in the process) and pfft on you, Glamour, I'm still ok with it.

So, anyhoo, here we go!

  • I can't stand crop tops. Especially in December. YOUR POOR STOMACH. It is neither warm enough nor sunny enough to show off your middle. And I think they look dumb. And everyone says it's an 80's comeback which makes me feel old because I was BORN in the 80's.
  • People who shorten words. Like hubby. Or totes. Or natch. (Preggers or preggo are probably the worst.) Seriously? Just use the whole word, especially if you're speaking. Your thumbs don't have to work overtime to get your mouth to work correctly, do they? (And yes, I realize that I am guilty of this as well. Do I smell a New Year's Resolution?)
  • I am lazy about eye makeup. I usually take off however much mascara comes off when I take my contacts out. Eye shadow usually doesn't make it on my face because, ugh, it's so much work to make it actually look gooooood. (Not really. But kinda sorta.)
  • I have Feelings about Leo. Like, he's adorable in Titanic but a legit good actor in his recent movies. I can want my DiCaprio cake and eat it too...
  • Some days, I say more words to Mannie than I do to a fellow human being. Mannie isn't judgey, he doesn't interrupt or ask dumb questions, and he's never given me bad advice.
  • I'm a female engineer, but I really just can't get on board with girl-specific Legos, lots of STEMspiration methods, or people who tell me that as a professional/career woman, I can have it all. I call shenanigans on all of this...
  • I'm really getting into Game of Thrones, but gah! The boobs! The blood! I think I'd rather read the books, but the show is just so pretty.
  • I refuse to use the Starbucks names for sizes. They're small, medium, and large(r than my stomach capacity). You know what I mean when I say 'small'. Just make it. Please. And to my friends: don't give me the stink eye when I use my middle name instead. They never spell my first name correctly, so by saying I'm 'Liz' or 'Beth', I'm doing everyone a favor. Really.

For those of you playing along at home:
1. What are some of your little quirky pet peeves?
2. How do you eat M&M's: ROYGBIV order, or all willy-nilly?
3. What are you most looking forward to about Christmas?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Final fall race recap

There's a distinct lack of pictures with this post since neither of my fall half marathons were particularly photogenic.

The 2014 Columbus Half Marathon (now a race of Many Names) changed their course a little this year due to a different start/finish line setup. I really loved the old course and the separate start and finish lines, but it was a pretty big headache for the race organizers, so they changed things up a little. However, they ended up with some pretty gnarly gear check problems, a spectator-deficient start and finish area, and a medal snafu. This, combined with a not-ideal race for me, made for a little bit of a bummer of a weekend.

Sometimes you step up to the starting line of a race and just feel that today is your day. You feel invincible, unstoppable, absolutely fantastic. I didn't feel like that before Columbus, unfortunately, but was able to run a 1:31:11, good for my second fastest half marathon. I was feeling pretty good through mile 9 before things fell apart a little bit.

Big thanks to E for being my road trip buddy to Dayton to pick up The Birdman and then for being an A+ cheerleader on the course!

Two weeks later was the Indy Monumental Half. After Columbus, I really wanted Indy to be my day, but then I ended up flying solo for a week in terms of training and I feel like I just didn't hit what I needed to in those two weeks to have a great race at Indy.

It was much colder than it had been before, so I was all flustered about what to wear for the race. This one was a little windy too, so all my pictures definitely look like I was riding the struggle bus :( The Canadian was a champ and cheered for me at this one, along with a surprise Becca sighting! 1:32:31 was definitely not what I had in mind heading into this race, but it was rough mentally and physically.

Luckily I recovered quickly and have been in the full swing of marathon training! I've gotten in a 20 miler and 22 miler the past two weekends and have 21 on tap for this Saturday. I love these long runs, but part of me is also missing all the fast and speedy stuff I've been doing this summer/fall :) I'd love to PR at Disney (and Boston :D), but I'd also love to run another fast/PR 3K (or even indoor 5K) this winter. However, with a full marathon on January 11, that's probably going to make fast track stuff difficult :) Oh well, see what happens!

I recently found these really cool race posters online, and it's gotten me thinking about all the fun and crafty ways I could display my marathon (or big half marathon) medals/bibs/etc. My long-term goal of running a marathon in all 50 states is presenting a challenge for finding a fun way to display stuff without taking over my apartment (or eventually, my house).

On the school front, my immediate priorities are a.) sorting out issues with my PDA system and b.) applying to jobs! I have a decent list started and am actually pretty excited to applying to stuff. I have a good mix of faculty positions, research-focused careers, and some industry opportunities in the mix, so hopefully something works out! The Canadian had an interview in Baltimore a few weeks ago and is heading out to Arizona to interview with a different company soon...guess I need to get on the ball and start applying places so I can get a few long-weekend vacations in my schedule :)

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For those of you playing along at home:
1.) How do you mentally rebound after a difficult race?
2.) What's your fun/creative method of displaying race bibs and/or medals?
3.) What state do you think has the prettiest license plates? (I don't want my car to be ugly when I move! :D)