Thursday, May 31, 2012

Defying Gravity, that cruel mistress

Tonight I met up with a friend and FINALLY checked out AIRobics at Sky High Sports.


This trampoline place is one of my favorite places in the area. We went for my sister’s birthday party last year and have been back a couple times since. I love tramp-ing so, so, so much. I feel very free and weightless. I am a flipper on a tramp and love that these ones are so spacious. Since I love the place, I was intrigued by the offering of a workout class. Normal tramp time is freaking exhausting so I was sure that the class would be brutal but fun.


I was right! It was super hard. The class started with warm ups, then squats and lunges on the trampoline. This added a degree of difficulty in that you’re much less stable on the wobbly surface. Then we started cardio intervals. This was a lot of jumping and a few group activities like ball passing and catching and relay races across the trampolines. Finally we did some core work on the trampoline. Again, because of the instability (and the fact that I have no core strength to speak of) this was tough.

It was a lot of fun. Even though it thoroughly sucked I could not stop smiling. I think you can’t help but smile whilst tramp-ing.

as a side note: While the class was going on there was open jumping on the front half of the gym. The population of that was ~90% teenage boys with killer moves. They were flipping and bouncing off the walls like pros. So, if you’re a teenage girl I highly recommend an evening at Sky High, for the jumping of course.

another side note: that much jumping is a tad hard on the bladder. I need to be sure to void beforehand and not drink too much and maybe get better about using this app.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

You say calzone, I say Stromboli

I got overwhelming feedback (Hi DSF) about the picture of the stromboli creation M and I have been making for the past few months, so I thought I’d address it in detail.

I will go back and gush some more about the wonder of the method taught by Artisan Bread in 5-Minutes a Day. It is freaking fantastic and makes me wish even more fervently that bread was a vegetable. The loaves we turn out form the basic recipe are so good; I honestly can’t justify buying a loaf from a store for both price and taste considerations. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking

One time we had a little dough leftover and some ricotta cheese in the fridge and decided to try the dough for Stromboli. And hence, deliciousness was born!

Here is our basic method:

  1. Weigh out 6oz of dough for each person. This gives a decent dinner size portion.
  2. Roll out to a thin oval. It should be pretty thin to get a good size final product but not so thin that the dough will falter under topping pressure
  3. TRICKY part, transfer to parchment on a pizza peel or sheet.
  4. Top it in the center. A layer of drier toppings should go on the dough first.*
  5. Where this recipe wins me over is in flair! For the braided effect cut slits on either side of the toppings.
  6. Pull the top and bottom flap toward each other.
  7. Alternating sides pull each strip to the opposing sides.
  8. On the final flap, tuck any loose ends.
  9. Bake at 425 for about 30min.



We’ve probably done this four or five times now and have been happy each time. I want to make ham and cheese sometime…I think that’d be delicious.

* Caution not to use too juicy of ingredients or too much sauce. I lew too close to the sun tonight and made  bit of a mess on the pizza stone.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Gotta Love Small Races

Haha! I placed 8th in my age group, 40th amongst women and 107th overall at the GoodKarma5k.
On a related note, how do people run 5:35 miles? 3.1 of them!?! With hills?

It is beyond nuts.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Necesito practicar MUCHO

One way in which I’ve decided I am going to proactively fight the feeling that I am a lazy, slack ass and have lost the ability to learn things, is I am taking online Spanish lessons.

I looked into a community college class but felt like I was a bit between classes. I have taken three years of Spanish (eons ago) so starting in the first semester class seemed like I might get frustrated but starting in the second semester class might have been a (major?) reach.

So I put an item on my calendar to study my Español at home. I signed for a Gold Key at Live Mocha which is turning out to be a pretty cool language learning toolbox. With my key I have access to any of the languages but I think focusing on this one is in my best interest.

The program, as I’ve figured it out so far, has a few interesting components. Each lesson starts with vocab/phrase learning and associates the words with pictures (like Rosetta Stone). Then there is a mixture of exercises where you identify or put together phrases. Then there is a written component and an audio component. Here is where it gets interesting. Your written/vocal submissions go to other users who are fluent in the language you’re studying. They submit feedback and you’re given English learners to review.

I was telling M that they’re a tad harsher than my fellow 10th graders were. I am still feeling a bit shy about it all and haven’t engaged anyone as a language partner.

The truth? I don’t take naturally to languages. I always got pretty good grades in language class because I was a good test taker. I learned the conjugations and was great at inferring. This method of learning is a bit more open (and more like how children learn their native language I suppose) and feels harder for me.

I have a gold key for one year…let’s see how much progress I make.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Good Karma 5k

I hadn’t heard of this run but DSF told me about it when she graciously shared a silent auction win of race entry with me. It is a cool idea for a race; from a list you pick the charity of your choice to run for.

Sadly, DSF got sick and had to bow out for today. I attempted to take pics during the run to give her a thorough description of the race. It started at 9am at Seward Park which is a bit off the beaten path to get to but I finally figured out a quicker route which overjoys me.

The pre-race festivities included booths for the various charities. Runners were encouraged to bring non-perishable food donations, drop off old running shoes and there was even an animal adoption wagon.


We lined up at the start and the race kicked off right on time. It was a bit of a crush through the sidewalk width start line. It was pretty tight for the first quarter mile or so before we dispersed a bit. We were getting in our grooves until 0.5miles in when the route went up into the hills of Seward Park. It was a bit of a climb until mile 1. After a bit of up and down we were mercifully headed downhill and the rest of the run would be flat and smooth sailing.

I am semi-familiar with the route around the park and felt like we were getting close to the finish. As I was running and admiring the cute puppies racing too I came up behind a dog that looked like our friends’ rat terrier…it was him! And his owners were walking with him and their beagle. I said a quick hello and told them Id see them at the finish line. The last mile was good, my average pace was going steadily down. I actually pushed hard to the finish and was really pleased with my 9:17/mi pace.

But I sort of felt like crap. I really HATE how I feel when I run hard. I tried to regain control of my tummy while I waited to catch a pic of our friends crossing the finish line.

Afterwards we hung out for a few minutes. The post race was pretty slim but fun enough. The food was Dave’s Killer Bread. They had samples of the sin-dawg…OH MY GOSH, so good!
I said goodbye and then headed out to get a few more miles in so I could make this my long run.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Sporks! It was fun but I missed ya.

Now, we may all notice that I said I brought my camera, yet didn’t share any pictures. Yeah, running with a camera is HARD. Here are the gems I managed to get.
(There were at least 15 signs warning of poison oak!)
( I attempted to get a pic of Phil and Suzanne over my shoulder)100_3184


Yeah, photography FAIL.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Best Laid Plans

Despite what I said in my previous post about being good about making a food plan, this weekend went sort of off the rails. But, it is one of those instances where it was totally worth it.

Late last night I got a random message from a high school friend who lives in Seattle and another HS friend who was visiting. They invited me to brunch Saturday and I am really glad I went even though it wasn’t in my eating plan and I didn’t have a lot of time.

HS was a great time for me but I realize now how blissfully ignorant I was of many things then. We talked today about what a lovely oblivion it was and how much, looking back, we missed being self involved teenagers; homeless classmates, classmates with deaths in the family, etc. And even with each other, we all had things going on in our lives that others were really unaware of. The two classmates I was expecting to meet up with were presumptively completely opposite sides of the spectrum (at least from my vantage point); she the quiet and unassuming genius, he the hard pushing, in your face and PUSHING towards success. They wound up sharing Valedictorian in our class (which hadn’t ever really happened before) and the fact that they are still in touch is one of those things that makes me feel even more like I was out of touch with the real lives of people in HS.

The biggest realization was how OK I am not to be in HS. It was great but it feels like eons ago.
(I tried to find an old pic of us but it seems to be lost in my poor filing system.)

I could only stay for around an hour or so because I had a date.

My 2nd nephew, five year old Mateo, invited me over for a personalized party. He got my favorite foods (popcorn and pizza) and picked up some special lemonade. All for Michael, him and myself. It was a lot of fun. He read us a few chapters from a book, we played a game and did wall handstands.

We also created pizza cupcakes.
Because he’d gotten both pizza and popcorn, he and I tried popcorn as a pizza topping. It was quite tasty.
Michael wasn’t brave enough to try it but he enjoyed his as well.
After our party we headed to my Mom’s for BBQ. That was relatively healthy (until you throw in the copious chips I consumed).

So let’s review:

Plan Actual
Go for a run before meeting up with Mateo Went out to brunch with HS peeps
Eat a reasonable breakfast Eat restaurant breakfast
Stay on track whilst eating lunch with M&M Um, not terrible but still

You know what, totally worth it!

Friday, May 25, 2012

I feel pretty

Every year or so I get hit by a deep desire to work on my image. usually this begins and ends with dealing with my hair. And, for the last 16 years, I have failed at this and been discouraged from continuing to work on it until I forget the failure about a year later an dthe cycle repeats.

This time, I have mostly given up on my hair. But I have found a fashion item that I am LOVING.


I love cute dresses and now I am starting to actually wear them! I decided a few months ago that I would dress up anytime I felt like it. Whether it was just M and me going to the movies or heading over to my family’s houses to hang out. If I wanted to get dolled up, I would.

In February, I finally bought my first purchase from after years of drooling over the fun, cute dresses they have there. I started out simple and fun with the Soda Fountain dress in Purple.


It is so cute! I have already worn it at least five times with different combinations of tights, boots and belts.



This one bolstered my resolve to wear cute dresses and I wore one everyday on vacation.



This is my favorite dress ever. I am also sporting the $2 sunglasses I picked up out of desperation/cheapness.

Terrible picture of this dress but the giant pile of whipped cream begged to be featured. I have since fashioned a dickie to close the very wide cleavage


I didn’t get a great pic of the dress I wore at Easter but it was maybe a slight bit young looking denim dress that I wore with a wide belt and calf high cowboy-ish boots.

(Edited to add a phone pic I took of the getup)
denim dress


Here is how I dressed the purple dress for summer when we went to see Improv tonight.
purple dress

(This is my official spot to have M take a picture of me so I can decide if I want to wear the outfit.)

Now the problem is that I can’t wear dresses to work. Maybe that should play into my career trajectory thoughts.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Summer approaches, let’s review the race plan

I have a confession. I’ve gotten REALLY lazy about planning summer fun runs/tris for myself. I have come to rely mostly on Sporks(DSF, haven’t changed the autolink in live writer) and random race deals I find to motivate me.

Case in point here is my schedule for the summer so far:

5/27 Good Karma 5K. DSF was kind enough to extend an entry to this race for me. It is at Seward Park which is a really beautiful park on  the edge of Lake WA. It looks like it’ll be small and adorable.

6/2 Iron Heart 8miler I bought a groupon for this one a long time ago and nearly forgot all about it until about a month or so ago. Luckily I had been doing a decent job of running since Mercer Island. This one is in my city which I am really looking forward to.

7/4 I am hoping to do the Firecracker 5000 again this year. Found this one viaa DSF as well and have done it every year with her and my sweetie. The race is aweosme since it starts at 11:55pm on the 3rd of July and runs through downtown Seattle in the dark.

7/21 Warrior Dash. I am blaming DSF 100% for this one. It is one of those obstacle races that gets you all dirty. I need to get busy training for the obstacle piece of this race.

8/12 Run for Your Rights 5k benefiting NARAL. This is a fun cute run that I’ve done a few times and LOVE the energy.


Now, did anyone notice any biking or swimming mentioned? No, neither did I. I am considering finding a half marathon sometime in early July, maybe a repeat of See Jane Run?

So, that’s the plan for now. Looking at it it seems fun and totally doable, regardless of what the months ahead bring. It makes me excited for the sunny summer mornings lined up for race starts (in actual daylight!).

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Those who fail to plan...

So M and I have been doing the program for almost five months. Which seems unbelievable to me. Now, while I wish I was on track with their 1-2lb/week, I am sadly not quite. But not doing too badly.

The best thing so far has been how much better we've been about healthy meal planning and execution. We made a shared excel spreadsheet with a weekly meal plan and have been pretty good (a few weeks notwithstanding) about making a plan.

And we've made some delicious stuff too!
A lot of recipes we've found on and

Here are a few I've snapped a pic of with my phone:

Egg flowers

Potato leek soup


Super adorable (5pp) Easter cupcakes.

And tonight's Stromboli.

I am blogging from my phone tonight to fulfill my goal while watching M and a friend play an intense game of chess.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

If it was fun they wouldn't call it work?

As most of my readers know I have been working in a lab since my very first day of college. I had financial aid in the form of work study and during “welcome week” freshman year I set out to find a J-O-B. As an optimistic biology major I answered an ad for a lab assistant (read: dishwasher) in the pathology department at the med school. I LOVED it. I loved washing and sterilizing dishes, autoclaving garbage, making solutions and gels. I loved that when I took my first chem lab, one quarter later, I knew what a stir bar was and how to correctly set a micropipette. As time went on my bosses told me what they were working on and explained to me how a small protein called a peptide was shown to kill bacteria. They showed me how they were able to characterize it using gels and other biochemical techniques. As my course work progressed I started putting the theory together with the practical (ex. the charged residues in the peptide make it run a certain was on RP-HPLC) and did my own research project in that lab.

I was totally hooked. SO much so that I decided I wanted to be a little lab rat and went to graduate school. I ran into some hitches there (mainly I was such a sad panda in CT and felt like a major imposter, these issues need/needed to be addressed but don’t play too deep into this post) but I still loved the idea of using the characteristics of molecules to design experiments.

I got my first job in biotech and here is where I felt like everything clicked. I was pretty good at this crap and a valuable member of the team. I really liked how in an industrial setting the entire team is focused on one goal.

I liked it and I felt good at it.

But, with that VERY LONG preamble, I am so fed up with this industry five years and two companies later. I am so tired of being on the edge of oblivion every six months. I hate that so many decisions are made based on the financial situation rather than the scientific situation. I haven’t figured out how timelines are made for goals which may or may not be possible in nature BECAUSE WE HAVEN’T TRIED THEM EVER BEFORE. I am just a bit tired.

But the thing is, I am also terrified to figure out if I want to do something else. It is what I know. I know how to split my days between the lab bench and my desk. I know that most days, when I get to work I need to take things out of the freezer, thawing is part of my schedule. I don’t really know anything else.

I have considered teaching and even optometry school (my original plan rom way back when). I have wondered whether I should get trained to be a carpet dweller and learn project management. But, honestly, lab work feels like a part of me in a way and…I don’t suck at it. Which makes finding something else seem a bit capricious.

I have no conclusions here. This is the main reason I have been a bot radio silent. I sort of feel lost on my career trajectory and, what is worse, have just shut my eyes and tried to ignore it.

For fun, the video that made me fall in love with molecular biology (central dogma FTW!):

Monday, May 21, 2012

Not much to say

I’d basically given up on the whole blogging thing but M said he wished I wouldn’t. That, and the fact that I need to do something has led me here tonight.

Lately I have felt really out of whack. There are things in life that are SO great and exciting and others that feel overwhelming, scary and tiring. I feel like my attitude has been an average of all that…a big old BLAH.

Even though I can’t decide what to do about the blahs and the unknowns I can at least acknowledge the stuff I am sure are great.


We went to Hawaii 

Our room in Waikiki was great, had an awesome view of Diamond Head.

We did an underwater scooter adventure that was really cool.

These submersible scooters were awesome and I have decided I am going to become an underwater motorcyclist.
We snorkeled a bit on the North Shore.
Shopped the International Marketplace (This was SO different than I remember, it was just a frenzy of vendors schlepping the same stuff. Still, fun to add my M to the people I’ve been there with).

We stayed on the North Shore for most of our trip.

With a trip over to Pearl Harbor.

And a trip to the Polynesian Cultural Center.

It was a great trip. The weather was amazing the whole time and it was fun to break away form the cloudy days of winter with my hubs.

We got back just in time for my sister Emily’s 14th birthday Wii Dance party. I had been pinning away cute décor and invites (THEY WERE SO CUTE!) and then it was time to put it all together. Emily and I dipped goodies in chocolate, made PowerAde ice cubes (my on the fly idea to make blue cubes which turned out to be super cool) and dyed cupcakes.

Everything looked awesome (if I do say)
The PowerAde floated on top of the lemonade when the ice cubes melted!

M, the sweetest BIL in the world, resurrected the photobooth from our wedding and the girls went to town. There was Wii Dancing, photo taking and snacking for a few hours. I think the party was a great success.

These are the standout fun things from April…and now it is the 21st of May Smile

*I’ve been running and have an 8 miler on June 2nd.
*I’ve been working but there have been layoffs and general morale rotting.
*We’ve been kicking butt in some of the nesting department (we cleaned the house like maniacs for our home appraisal) but dealing with obstacles in others.
*The days here have gotten longer, brighter and warmer and we’ve been taking good advantage of it.
* We are still chugging away with the Weight Watchers thing…it is easier some days than others.

Will report on some of these things this week. My goal is to blog everyday this week…we’ll see.