Saturday, February 25, 2012

Spokane Adventure

Hello everyone!!

Thanks to those of you who stop by and are still reading since I have been horrible at regular posts lately. Today, I am writing to you from a coffee shop/ bakery in Spokane, WA called the Rocket Bakery. It's a super cute place! I got a triple berry scone and a breakfast tea to tide me over while Erin in getting some salon treatments a few doors down.

This week seemed to go by very fast! I did my Tabata core class on Saturday and was sore until Wednesday, so that means that I didn't go to my Abs class Tuesday night but made it on Thursday. I ran on Wednesday b/c I didn't go to the gym on Tuesday b/c I served my civic duty and gave blood since I am O+ and most people can accept it. I was pooped when I made it up the hill from getting off the bus, so the gym didn't happen. I did a speed workout on Thursday and my calves were very sore on Friday. This is a good sign that I am running with proper form and my calf muscles are doing the work that they were intended to... hence no cramping! Hallelujah!!

I finally spent my amazon gift card from Mother (my grandma). I got a new dvd rack that holds all of my movies with some room to spare! And I got 2 cases of berry flavored Sports Beans b/c that has been my fuel option of choice lately! They don't make my stomach hurt and i don't have to take in a lot of water to have them slosh around in.

If you are friends with me on facebook, you saw that Jack has figured out how to get my attention when I'm sitting on the couch and he wants in... he gets on my car and yowls at me through the window!!

Ok. Erin is done! We might attempt to go ice skating b/c I have a Groupon for it but if we don't, then I'm only out $8. Not the end of the world considering the weather. I also have a Groupon for the Laguna Cafe and we are going there for dinner on our way home (hopefully!) There will be some definite mall action in between!!

I'm hoping for a 10 miler or so tomorrow but if these 35 mph winds keep up, I might just go the the gym and suck it up!

I hope you have a great weekend! 

Until next time...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Wisconsin interview week recap

Since I have been deemed immobile ( i had 10 miles planned for today :( ) thanks to the hour long tabata core class that I finally got to, I thought I would catch you up on my life in the last week.

Friday night was fun bc it was Erins birthday. We went out for Mexican and if we are friends on Facebook, you saw the video of Erin enjoying her complimentary Mexican flag shot. We went to another bar after and I only made it out til 11 pm bc I was getting up at 3 am to drive to Spokane for my 7am flight.

I went home, finished getting last minute things in order and was in bed by 12. I was surprisingly alert and was able to sleep til 3. I had some time to spare, so I sat and chatted with Erin who was crashed on the couch. Don't worry, she got a safe ride back to my house.

After hitting the jack in the box for breakfast bc that was the only thing open at 4am, I headed towards Spokane in the worst fog I think I ha ever driven in. At one point, I was following a truck going 25 mph in a 60 mph zone. I was able to pass the truck and get comfortably up to 50 mph. I was glad I left so early at this point. About 30 miles out from Spokane, the fog was completely lifted and was an easy drive the rest of the way.

I got parked and my bag checked and stood in the longest security line I had ever seen in Spokane. I got to the gate when they first started boarding and it was a smooth flight to minneapolis. I sat next to a very nice and chatty guy during the flight.

I had some time to wander through the airport to find that it had a mall in it quite like pittsburgh's airport. Then I found out that I had to travel from the F to B gates which is quite a way! I should have taken the tram but had the bright idea that I wanted to see the airport since I had never been to this one before.

The flight to Madison was a quick 45 minutes and I got my bag and my rental car and headed towards the hotel. I had a lovely detour around the one way streets around the capital building but eventually found my way. I checked in, parked the car and got to my room in time to drop my things and go back to the lobby where I was meeting the realtor with 5 minutes to spare.

She gave me a tour of the town for about 2 hours. She didn't know my pet situation and if I wanted to rent or buy a place, so I just got the general look around things. I got back to the hotel and heard from the guy I had a phone interview with. His flight to new mexico was cancelled so he had time to have dinner with me and he had a city council meeting to go to on the day of my interview and wanted to talk to me over dinner.

After sprucing up, I met him in the lobby and we ended up at a swanky French place. The menu wasn't in French but if it was, I could have read that better than the culinary-ese that was the menu. I had a beet salad, a puff pastry dish and a vanilla and lime panna cotta for dessert. He had a $54 steak with potato latkies.

I went back to the room and was so exhausted that I couldn't fall asleep til 1:30am central time. That put me at being up for about 20 hours on 3 hours sleep.

I had planned a long run Sunday morning but woke up at 9 am to a temp of 17 degrees with winds and didn't pack heavy enough running clothes for that. Instead I layed around in the bed for a bit and got motivated to walk to a nearby Starbucks for some tea and a walk around the lake that my room looked out on to. It was sunny but still very cold.

I got back to the hotel about 1pm and met a guy from a chemical company based in Madison that was at WSU the week before. He gave me another tour if the town as well as the campus and his work facility. It was nice the second time around bc I felt like I was getting a better feel as to where things were now.

After my tour, it was about 4 and had warmed up to 33 degrees so I went for a run on the trail that runs along the lake. I didn't take my water belt or fuel with me, so I only did just over a 5k. It was nice. I had a speedy first mile at 11:20 and was focusing on toe striking but then got a new pain in my foot and slowed things down and knew 9 was not going to happen.

I gig back to the room and showered and got ready to go out for dinner. I was on my own and found that State St. is where there are tons of restaurants and shops and goes from the capital to campus. I ended up at an Italian place for dinner. I had soup and chicken Parmesan. After dinner, I went to a tea house. This was the reason for exploring this street but they didn't serve enough food to count as a meal. They had a book of teas and if/ how to pair them with milk and or honey. I got the masala chai with milk and honey and a blueberry scone. The tea was amazing bc I had never had it with honey before! Something I will definitely have to try at home with my own masala chai. I walked back to the room, chatting with my sister who had just had a run in with Mario Lemieux at a Pittsburgh penguins hockey game!!

I made sure I gift have to iron my outfit for my interview and got ready for bed. I was up by 7 and called mom while I was laying in bed. I showered and got ready while chatting with Aunt Bev. I got everything packed and was out the door. My luggage was much harder to handle with heels on as opposed to my sneakers!!

I found my way to my interview location in a business park and then located a Starbucks for my cup of tea. I was a bit early but spoke with the HR guy first, followed by a nuclear engineer. I went to lunch with the CEO to olive garden. I had the soup, salad and bread sticks with a glass if peach tea, of course!

After lunch, I met with the COO who I had dinner with on Saturday. I finished the day by talking with 4 more people, who I'm guessing we're the rest of the employees. It was nice to learn how relaxed of an atmosphere it was and no dress code. The CEO was wearing jeans and a Tshirt. You don't know how comforting that was to me!

I changed into my traveling clothes and made my way for the airport bc it was beginning to snow and I didn't want to bd too far from the airport if things got bad. I returned my rental car and zipped through security. I found some food and more tea and sat and waited.

There was free Internet in the airport, so I looked at potential apartments. It turned out that the plane coming from Minneapolis was delayed due to the deicing line. We boarded to wait again to be deiced. I ran through the airport to get on the plane while it was already being boarded. I hate that!! Makes me panic even more. We ended up flying out about an hour later bc if the deicing line again.

I got to Spokane, hog my car and headed to Pullman. I made a stop at a gas station to fuel up on tea and an ice cream sandwich. I made it home about 2am and unpacked the few things I needed to go to bed. I slept in til 9:30 and went to school. I dragged the whole day which made me think I should have taken the day to recover.

I had PT that night and then fell asleep on the couch watching BL and parenthood. I woke up in time to go to bed at 11. I dragged even more in Wednesday but it got better after that.

I heard from the HR guy on Friday morning to only find out that they didn't want to give me an offer until I had a solid graduation date. I understand this but they knew I wasn't graduating til June before my visit. I was a bit discouraged but totally understand.

I stayed til about 7:30 at school working on updating my lab notebook and didn't go home til it was finished. I got home, let Heif out and headed out to do some grocery shopping since my fridge was bare.

I stopped at Macy's first just to see if they had anything good on clearance and came across a nice red dress coat and 4 nice sweaters for less than $75. I saved over $304 on my purchase!!

With that good of a start, I went to winco and then Walmart for produce to return home just before 11pm. I unpacked my bags and put everything away. I put Heif to bed and then myself by 12.

Saturday I was up and about by 8:30 and was at work by 9:30 with breakfast and a tea in hand. I hit a few things done and went to my tabata core class. This is the first time I've successfully made ur to this class and probably will be my last for this session. I think I got my money's worth out of it bc I can barely walk today I'm so sore!! So much for the 10 miles I had planned today! My next half marathon is only 2 weeks away and I want to have some sort if taper. We'll see if that happens then.

At the bottom are some pictures of my week. From the view out my window of the frozen lake, the view on the trail I ran on, to part of my dinner at the Italian place and others.

Sorry this was do long. I will work on blogging more than once a week but since I feel like I'm on more of a deadline with things to ensure I get this job, I think blogging will take the hit.

Feel free to contact me via email or twitter @vbace18.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Good grief! It's been over a week since I blogged and I can hardly get over it myself. Things have been quite crazy in the land of my life. I have my interview in Madison, WI on Monday and I leave Saturday morning. I have started making my OCD set of lists so that makes me feel more relaxed about the whole situation.

Backing up to last week... I helped out with the McNair/ graduate school visitation weekend. I went out to dinner a few times and got to meet the prospective students. I remember being in their shoes and being all excited for the next step in my life. Now here I am going on my first big girl job interview!! It's amazing how life cycles.

Saturday morning I met with my boss to see what I needed to do to tie up my loose ends so I can graduate. The bad news was that I have more to do to 'complete my story' than I had thought. The good news is that I think I will have an awesome thesis when I'm done. The other part to the bad news is that I may not be done in June like I was expecting, but definitely by the summer. It will happen!!

I went to my meeting with an hour and a half to spare to make it to my first Saturday tabata core class in the last 5 weeks. My meeting was about n hour and 40 mins. So I missed my class but ended up staying at school til 3 looking up journal articles and reading them. I felt very productive.

I left school and got my oil changed and then got my nails done with Erin in a professional color instead of the sparkly blue that I had been sporting. I am now rocking a nice wine color.

Then I went to Kara's house bc I was invited to dinner for fish tacos. They were AMAZING!! Then we played a few games of Carcassone. It's a fairly new to me board game where you build a renaissance landscape. I'm a sucker for time period stuff like that and it's a lot of fun.

Sunday I woke up early and ran 8 miles in 1:46. I went farther and faster than I've gone in this half marathon training cycle so I was pumped. I came home and unstank myself and then went to Erin's house to watch the super bowl. I didn't really care who won bc I don't really know the players on either team, but I didn't want Tom Brady to win. Not sure what I have against the man but I just don't like him.

We watched the game and ate burgers and chips and dips. Then I tried on my interview outfit for Erin and her mom and got approvals all around. Then I went shopping in their closets for a dress jacket and purse to match.

Monday I started on the experiments that I had planned on doing the week before but the instrument pooped out on me for 2 days. But I got some awesome data that actually told me hold my compounds break down when heated.

I was super excited about the data but couldn't go to the boss with the good news until I had all the info in a nice little package to present that made sense. That took all day today but by 4 pm I showed the boss and he seemed excited as me for once. Maybe bc I had total understanding of what I was showing him and totally owned it. I think I'm finally getting what it takes to get this phd.

Tonight I had a major craving for taco bell. I wienered out of my and class and met up with Erin after hers and hit the bell!! It was delicious. Of course Erin and I sat there for over an hour just chatting. We were far from our record of over 3 hours at the bell. I stopped at winco on my way home I get a few frozen blocks of food to finish me out for the week and some fruit and air plane snacks.

Now I just need to pack and enjoy Erin's birthday on Friday!! Yay!!

How has your week been? Hopefully not as crazy as mine.

Ps. I wrote this post on my phone, so if anything shows up weird that's why.

Have a great rest of the week. I'll definitely update you on my trip if I don't blog before then!!