Monthly Archives: April 2013

Monday running club trot

4/8/13 work out

3.34 miles

32 min

48 F and pretty calm

I felt quite a bit better today than yesterday. Who knows why, but I’ll take it! I think we picked up the pace a bit today too. Ian, sorry we decided to crank it up a bit shortly after your lunch. :-/ I hope you don’t have shitty feelings towards running club (minus Samia) after today!! Although, where could you possibly find a better discussion than what we had!?!?

Threads:  Nike tank, Adidas Response running pants, shorty socks, and my arm warmers (a great dumpster-dive following the start of the Twin Cities marathon a few years ago)

Treads: Mizuno Wave Creation 11

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Sunday trot

4/7/13 work out

3.1 miles

31 min

45 F with a  light breeze

For some reason I sure felt like I was working a lot harder than I should have. Are the lungs still in bad shape from Tanzania? …from being sick? Grrr… Regardless, being outside on a Sunday with the furball and one of my sisters is a good deal, working hard or not.

Threads:  Nike tank,  Nike Relay – Women’s Running Caprislong sleeved Monster Dash technical shirt and shorty socks

Treads: Mizuno Wave Creation 11

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See ya suckers!

So last night started as the rare occasion that my other half and I actually put in the effort to dress ourselves in threads that were not totally covered in cat fur and to go out to dinner at a relatively nice restaurant posing as civilized human beings. We were both craving sushi and Masu is a newish, niceish joint not far from home. Perfect.

After a full Saturday of experiments and thesis writing (yes, we know, we are very cool) and the aforementioned preparations we didn’t make it out until about 8:30. When we showed up at Masu the wait was only about 30 min so we grabbed a spot by the panchenko machines and ordered a flight of sake to share. Very nice. We had a spot at the bar by 9 pm as things were starting to clear out and all seemed to be going smoothly.

As we were deciding what to get, a second couple sat down next to us at the bar and also began browsing the drinks and food menus. I’m not sure if it was because we already had 3 glasses of sake in front of us or because we both could’ve really used a booster seat to properly belly-up-to-the-bar but this was the beginning of the end.

We decided what we wanted to get (agadashi tofu–of course, a crunchy spicy salmon roll and a firecracker roll) and closed our menus. Our neighbors ordered their drinks…and received their drinks. Our neighbors then ordered their food. At this point we flagged down our bar tender while he was out on the floor (?) and asked if we could order. He said he supposed that we could and hurriedly took down our order. Weird, but whatever, at least it was in.

So we sat back, hungry but happy enough with our sake and Michigan vs. Syracuse final four game, and chit-chat while we waited for our food…and waited…and watched our neighbors appetizers come…and go…and waited…and watched our neighbors food come…and go…and waited. Finally, we asked one of the other bar tenders what was going on with our order. (The one we ordered from was far too  busy to see our attempts to flag him down.)  She told us that it was busy so we needed to be patient.


Ok so yes, it had been busy. Fair enough. But now? No. It was not.

So we continued to wait. Our neighbors got their bill…and paid. More waiting. The bar tenders switched out all of the regular menus for the late night version. More waiting…and more being told to be patient. By 10 pm I had gone from hungry to hangry and was no longer in the mood to hear that I needed to be patient. Michigan was having their way with Syracuse and our sake was gone. By 10:15 we were ready to exchange our civilized attire for fur covered sweats and our bar stools for the couch. By 10:16 our coats were on and we were out the door! I can’t say that I have ever just gotten up and walked out of a restaurant before, but I also can’t recall being treated like I’m so totally disposable, if not even a burden.

So now what? This is what —

Southwest Beans by Pizza Mesa

Southwest Beans by Pizza Mesa

One Southwest Beans pizza by Pizza Mesa for pick up, our fur covered pajamas, the couch, 3 episodes of Homeland and our girls…

Pheona the adorable

Pheona the adorable

Queen Penny riding her turtle

Queen Penny riding her turtle

Why didn’t we leave sooner?

Have you up and walked out of a restaurant for crappy service or food? What happened?


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Flurries in April?!?!

Today definitely felt better. It wasn’t as windy, which prevented the continuous cursing of Wed, so that probably helped. Fun running club members were key too 🙂

4/5/13 work out

3.76 miles

38 min

50 F with flurries (WTF?)

Threads:  Nike tank, Adidas Response running pants, shorty socks and long-sleeved Champion shirt

Treads: Mizuno Wave Creation 11 coated in approximately 937 lbs of African dust

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“Thank god I’m married…what a pathetic life!”

…is NOT what you want to hear your favorite post-doc say as he stumbles back into the office at 10 pm after slaving away in the lab all day and evening!!

Solution? Immediately take him to a trashy undergrad bar with blaring music for a pitcher of Nordeast and complementary nachos.

(And by “take him” I mean go with, have beer and nachos and then let him pay for it all :-/)

Everyone please cross your fingers that all was not for nothing and that Dr. Juan has some positive clones waiting for him in the morning!

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1 month anniversary trot

After an entire month of not running a step (well, that isn’t entirely true…I’ve ran…really ran…for at least half a dozen busses since I’ve been back and that totally counts…right?) it felt very good to get out today. My feet actually made contact with the pavement rather than ice and slush, it was 50 F and I wasn’t bundled in everything that I own. It was a bit windy though and I could totally tell that I hadn’t be out in a month (sans the bus chasing of course) but I easily distracted myself by babbling incessantly initiating stimulating conversation with my running buddies (Samia, Ian and our new running club member … and Bettle jumber extraordinaire … Alex 🙂

4/3/13 work out

3.34 miles

33 min

50 F with a wind x-(booooooo)

Threads:  Nike tank, Adidas Response running pants, shorty socks, and my arm warmers (a great dumpster-dive following the start of the Twin Cities marathon a few years ago)

Treads: Mizuno Wave Creation 11 coated in approximately 937 lbs of African dust

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The 3rd

Today is the 3rd. So what?

1. Today is the one month anniversary of what will hopefully the worst marathon I’ll ever “run”…

@ 6:30 am. Ignorance is bliss.

March 3rd @ 6:30 am. Ignorance is bliss.

(PS. I think this is the red flag that I really need to write that race review don’t I?! One month later I best have gotten over my hard feelings of +5 hrs to write something resembling a rational post.)

(PPS…or PSS… Which one is it? I never know… Anyway, I also think this is the red flag and flashing lights and blaring sirens that I need to get my ass out for a run again. That and I think my pants are shrinking. Yes, it’s my pants that are shrinking, it certainly isn’t me that’s getting fat…)

2. Today is t-minus one month until my thesis defense!


Did anyone else realize today had some sort of significance as they walked/drove/bused/biked into school/work today? What is it?



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Filed under Dr-ing, Marathons, Tanzania

My final recruiting weekend

This weekend was our department’s second prospective recruiting weekend of the spring.

What does this mean?

  1. Thesis? What thesis?
  2. Implementation of the hangover cure.
  3. Thesis? What thesis?


Confused? Fair enough. Let me catch you up. First, let me give you a bit of background. Here is roughly how the admission process goes for us (and many other Chemical Engineering departments as far as I know)…

  1. Students apply for admission during the fall of their senior year (or after). Applications are due at some point in December if my memory is correct 
  2. The admissions committee looks through applications, dumps about 3/4 in the trash and sends out acceptance letters  to the remaining 1/4 lucky winners by the beginning of February (Note: these are totally RE numbers, but for the sake of this description that should be good enough. Second note: RE = Rectal Extraction.)
  3. Students who are accepted are then invited to attend one of two visit weekends to meet with the department faculty and graduate students and get a flavor of the campus and city. These weekends take place in March. (DING!! DING!! DING!! They were this weekend!!)
  4. April 15th arrive and triggers have to be pulled. This is the date set by all (or most?) departments by which students must make their decisions of where to go (if they are so lucky as to have more than one offer).
  5. We all live happily ever after.
  6. Until the fall.
  7. 1st year, 1st semester = welcome to hell.

As one of the few females in our department I was shackled and dragged had the opportunity to attend many activities that were put on for the prospective students. We went to lunch together in small groups, had casual informational interviews, went to dinner and enjoyed 324 glasses of wine too many shots and subsequent arguments with my adviser a few adult beverages consumed responsibly and stimulating conversation, and then went out to the piano bar but could only stay for a short while thanks to the aforementioned wine indulgence.  Not bad for a Friday.

Saturday morning on the other hand…

Hangover cure.

Hangover cure = water, Bolthouse Farms mango juice, toast with LOTS of Nutella. 🙂

But there is no rest for the nerdy wicked. Saturday morning starts with more interviews followed by brunch and then an afternoon activity. Dinner is in small groups again at some of the nicer restaurants in town and then it’s off to see some stand up comedy at Comedy Sports. (Note: if you live in the MSP area and have never been to Comedy Sportz you must have absolutely no sense of humor or are unbelievably lazy or are very ill-informed regarding one of the funniest places in town. EVERYONE should check out Comedy Sportz.) Now this is when the official activities of the weekend end. However, there is this little bar called Legends that we just can’t pry ourselves away from. After the comedy is finished we load up the students and head for the basement of Legends…think cement floor, 2 for 1 drinks with a college ID (yes, many of us are almost 30), pool, darts and booty dancing to the Top 100 and the absolute best tunes of the 80’s. There is something about this trashy little gem that keeps us coming back for more.

After a few hours at Legends 2 am rolls around we are all ready for bed White Castle! (Disclaimer: by we I mean all of the idiots that think White Castle is a good drunken choice at 2 am. White Castle is never under any circumstances a good choice.) The majority of the group, current and prospective students finally actually truly close down the weekend with a few (Note: a few = too many) White Castle sliders.

And then it is Sunday and you wonder why your thesis hasn’t written itself, why the laundry isn’t done and how the hell did my heals get that dirty?!?! Maybe it’s just me.

Crazy? Totally. Worth it? Totally. I’m oddly kind of going to miss this crazy shit come next year. :-/ The next few days of thesis writing are going to be a bit too reminiscent of item #7 in the list above I’m afraid…



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Herbs and Spices – Arusha Tanzania

Herbs and Spices on Trip Adviser

So we found Herbs and Spices listed as a hotel in one of our travel books as we were preparing for our trip. On Trip Adviser (and frankly everywhere else that I’ve looked) it is only listed as a restaurant. I assure you however, it’s definitely a hotel as well! Our stay at the Herbs and Spices Hotel was very nice.


Our room at Herbs and Spices was clean and welcoming. The beds were comfortable and were equipped with nice mosquito nets so we could open our big windows at night for an evening breeze. We had a private bathroom that was clean with a western toilet and a shower. Now we were supposed to have warm water, but there always seemed to be one reason or another why it was not available. I think I had one shower where it wasn’t totally cold, but that was about as good as it got. Considering the ~90 F temperatures, this definitely wasn’t the end of the world.

The common lobby and restaurant area was welcoming and clean. There was a lovely  front porch, shaded by tall trees and vines, with tables and seating for meals and a nice place just to take a load off. We had breakfast (included with the room) here every morning and dinner a few times as well. Breakfast included coffee and tea, eggs, sausage, toast and jam. It was a nice way to start the day. For lunch and dinner, traditional Ethiopian options were available as well as European style meals. We obviously had Ethiopian dishes for the two dinners we ate at Herbs and Spices. Both were injera with some sort of veggie preparation. We had beans, spicy lentils, potatoes, and a few other things that I can’t remember any more :-/ Shame on me…

Management and staff

The staff at Herbs and Spices was courteous and helpful. Our interactions with them were rather limited however.


Herbs and Spices is located on the main road just on the southeast corner of Arusha. While the street is busy, it has a nice walking path to town. It is about a 20 minute walk into town, with many friendly people along the way. There is also a well stocked convenient store about 10 minutes away by foot.

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Filed under Tanzania, Travel