Monday, October 25, 2010

Zombie story

So...It's been roughly a century since my last installment. I blame Simulation. I have spent nearly every night in the lab since then and a couple of those nights turned into mornings. I just woke up from a five hour nap...the first sleep I'd had since getting up for church on Sunday. I woke myself up because I didn't want to further mutilate my sleep schedule and wake up at three in the morning ready to meet the day.

Yester/today was brutal. We went in at one in the afternoon feeling fairly good about where we stood with the project but then we just kept finding things wrong with our model and had to keep troubleshooting and before we knew it we were just trying to crap out a paper by the deadline. It's not gonna be pretty.

I'm trying to think of things I've done since last I wrote but all I have in my head is the IMSE lab and simulation... poor Ed had the worst partner ever too. I tried to help but he is just way more dedicated and basically built our model by himself. I tried to hammer out the paper but he had to help because he knew more about our model than I did. Somehow he doesn't hate me, thank goodness.

Last weekend I visited Kyle in Kansas City. We went to the casino and I learned to play 21. Well I learned in the safety of his kitchen and then wasn't brave enough to play for real but I watched and I'm thinking maybe next time...if I have any disposable dinero. We'll see.

Oh! Mahjabeen got herself a blog too! It's about dang time! We have been waiting for some desi NYC adventure stories since she said "peace" to Kansas... check her out! She is the chutney to my samosa and I miss her but this will help a little. It's off to a "slow" start because she too is a busy graduate student but between the two of us we may update weekly! ;)

I don't know what else to tell you... I'm basically a zombie right now. I'm still going to go over to hang out with the guys and whoever is still alive... I want to hang out with these people and NOT talk about Simulation. I can barely believe I'm saying that considering I spent the past 24 hours with these folks. We got kinda close being so tired we were basically drunk... why not go be actually drunk! :)

Hopefully I'll get back to a real life this week before the next project gets crazy and if we play our cards right I may even write about it...

Monday, October 11, 2010

The news as of late

I have had what I thought was some ornery allergies for about two weeks now and it's just getting to the point where I'm tired of trying to ride it out. I want off this ride immediately. I'm going to Lafene this afternoon for a consult to see if we can nip this thing in the bud. Here's hopin'.

I'm writing to you dear reader (Mom) from the OR 1 exam that I am proctoring today. Mom, you must give several tests a month between all the subjects you teach; you must get a lot done while those kiddies are sweating away over their spelling words. This is really boring because I didn't come prepared with anything to occupy me so I'm aimlessly surfing the internet. And writing about it. On the upside Dr. Wu paid for my lunch for springing this on me last minute and let Robbie come along (but since we have to be quiet this doesn't do me much good in the entertainment department).

Also, Mom, you would be so proud of me. I played softball last night with Stacey's fiance's team (because they needed some more ladies to fill out the roster) and I was actually kind of a productive person! I played catcher which people always say is good for someone who doesn't really know anything. I have always thought that it seemed like a scary place to stand--next to someone swinging a metal stick while someone throws a "soft" (not soft at all) ball at you. But I did ok. I got less scared each inning and by the end only a couple rolled by me. This is quite the feat for me. I also hit the ball every time I was at bat. Not well but I got to first base and since I was immediately before the slugger of the team that meant I made it home all but once (he made me go on LONG sprints...). Anyway I'm sort of beaming with pride at having been helpful.

Oh and I made that chicken taco pizza on Saturday. I shared it with Robbie and Ed and they both tell me it was pretty tasty (I thought so too but I can't taste anything really with these "allergies" so I rely on others to confirm). Here's how it goes:

Crust dough: Go to and find the pizza dough recipe. Make it (at least a day in advance)

Make some chicken. I used two frozen chicken breasts, thawed and marinaded for about 30 minutes in some tequila and lime juice (the kind in the plastic lime)--about a shot of each I'm estimating... Then I just put it in a skillet until it was cooked. Nothing fancy. I had to add a little lime juice in the middle because things were looking a little dry. Do what you want.

Once you have the dough spread out, spoon on
3/4 (ish) of a can of sauce (I used a spicy tomato sauce I found in the Mexican food isle of Dillons. Robbie would have went with salsa. Do what you think is right.)
3/4 (ish) of a can of black beans
1 med-small green pepper (or a large on if you really like green peppers...or none if you don't)
1/2 a small onion (again if you really love onion do more...or leave it out...whatever)
2 frozen chicken breasts, shredded up (or cubed if you like it that way I guess)
1 bag of Mexian cheese (you can do it P-Hut style and put 1/2 the cheese on under the veggies and 1/2 of it on top of the chicken... if you want) unless you really love cheese then you can put more.

Clearly pizza leaves a lot of room for interpretation so go with your gut. Mine was good but I'll probably change it up a bit next time just to keep things interesting.

Nothing else has really happened since I last touched base (we are ignoring the Nebraska massacre of Thursday because it is too painful to recount). We SIM happened but no one wants to hear about that.

So in closing, I'd like to offer a special shout out to my parents, Ed and Anita. On this day in 1986(if I did the math right) they tied the knot-- Happy Anniversary! I hope you get to do something fun! Love you guys!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I know you're asking yourself: "Self? What IS that?" The answer, dear reader (Mom), is Bubble Tea! It's a little weird but in all the right ways... Mine (left) is taro root with black tea (also milk and tapioca pearls--the black things at the bottom) and Ed's (right) is red bean with black tea (and milk and tapioca pearls). Mine tasted like cookies & cream to be honest which isn't what you'd think looking at this purple-y drink. It was yummy to be sure. Ed and I went to get these at the Chinese Grocery that opened up in Aggieville recently. It was a fun little field trip/experiment that we plan on repeating. there were plenty of nifty food items (none of whose labels were in English) and even a box of fresh (alive on Tuesday) crabs! It was a magical journey and I found things that one day I'll need to buy when I get ambitious and try to make fun Asian food that I like. Who knows when that will actually be...

Also before our field trip, I made Ed and I PW's favorite pizza: eggplant and tomato (produce courtesy of the farmer's market...mmmm)! It was pretty good but I think I have a few tweaks for next time planned. I still have 1/2 the dough I made (don't be impressed, it's SUPER easy) so I get to make my experimental pizza soon. I decided on chicken taco pizza. I'll let you know how it goes (and if it's good how to make it yourself!).

All in all it's been a really good food day. :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Apparently I'm broke

So what happened this week... huh... not that much really. School, grading, some hanging out with friends. Nothing huge. Oh I signed up for this week. Apparently the fact that there is any money in my accounts is basically a miracle. Like a serious, write-to-the-pope-to-get-this-validated act of God. Mint is basically budgeting and money managing software online. It reads your bank account and categorizes your spending. It sets budgets based on your spending habits and shows you at the end of the week how you're doing. It seems as though I've had no concept of my spending up to this point. Hopefully we'll get that under control.

Wednesday I had a birthday dinner at Olive garden with a group of my people. Leslie, Kristin, Stacey (and Mike), Carrie, Scarlett, Emily, Robbie, Brant, Jeff, and Ed all came. I felt so loved! :) It's always fun to sit down with you're people to break bread.

Speaking of hanging out with your people, we decided on a new Friday ritual--Friday FroYo at 5! There's a new self serve place called The Orange Leaf and it's awesome! Go check it out online (you can see a local perspective at and then promptly go there to experience it! This week we followed up our desert with dinner (just Robbie, Scarlett, Sarah, Ed and myself) at Pat's and then Robbie, Ed and I spent a night in (as opposed to spending money out and about) watching that old classic film, Mystery Men.

Today I mentored for a GROW event (because of the aforementioned lack of cash flow) in spite of having a weird vertigo type feel all day. I bucked it up and toughed it out and it got better enough to go to Emily's for a chilly dinner (which was spectacular to say the least). I still feel just a little wonkey but I think I'll survive. Hopefully I'll shake it enough to be productive tomorrow.

Oh and finally the highlights of Chicago! Enjoy!

The big city lights... as seen from the Hancock Building.
My drink at the Hancock Building-- so pretty!
Free hat at the Sox game in honor of 1/2 way to St. Patty's day!
Dinner at the Sox game--as good as(or better than) it looks!
Postin' up at the bean in Millennium park. Possibly favorite part of Chicago.
See? I rock the Sr. Pics at the bean...
Crew at that classy silver bean again...
Adam walks on water sometimes... whatev.
In the new viewing boxes that hang out over Chicago in the Sears (Willis?) Tower. I am breaking ground in the field of fake Sr. pics here people. Check me out!
And that red thing... I forget what it's called. We checked it out though. Also very cool. :)

There are more up on the Facebook and even more on SnapFish. These are just the ones that struck my fancy enough to make it into the blog...