27 December 2008

Yay for Christmas Redux!

Humorous Pictures
Christmas Redux is going well so far! :)

25 December 2008

Merry Christmas, redux

I hereby announce that Christmas will be held (again) in 2 days' time. Some days just really should be done over. Like from scratch.

So, here is my plan for Merry Christmas 2. MC2 for short, or E. Because they ARE equal after all. (heh. nerd humor)

Wake up at a leisurely hour. Take a nice warm shower and put on my favorite comfy clothes. Prepare lattes and crepes. Go out shopping with the MAN for a new pair of running shoes and inserts. Test drive the new shoes for a few miles and relax at the gym. Come home in the late afternoon and make a simple dinner. Enjoy a funny movie with a glass of my favorite sparkling wine. Fall asleep thankful for perfect days, lovely friends, and a wonderful husband.

So, keep up the merry cheer for two more days for your biological sibling-challenged pirate. I'm now accepting applications for the role of LJS sibling. Your primary mission, should you choose to accept it, is to not break my heart with everything you say and do. That, and eat all of my yummy cooking creations. If no applications are received, I'll be drafting people.

23 December 2008

The Empress Returns

My favorite feline empress, Kukka Maria, has been back online for a full 9 months and I have only now noticed?? That means I have 9 months' of funny-as-heck blogging to catch up on. So check her out, and she's back on the Blog Roll.

What a fortuitous turn of events! Now I'll have something to actually DO this holiday season. Maybe I can start my thesis. {giggle}

Not that watching someone play video games is boring or anything. And we'll soon be having a visitor who loves video games even more. Thank Ceiling Cat that I didn't look for a Wii.

Oh yeah. Merry Christmas!

18 December 2008

Winter symbiosis

What goes better than peanut butter with pancakes, hot cocoa with whipped cream, macaroni with cheese?

Heavy snowfall and a day of baking, in comfy clothes and a Santa hat.

We are in for a Winter BONANZA! Yippee!! Starting tonight after the peoples are nestled all snug in their beds, mother nature will bestow upon us mortals 11 inches of snow in less than 24 hours. Now if the weather people actually have their predictions right, this is looking to be a prime opportunity to "work from home". (forgetting the fact that, yeah, I probably could walk to work)

And by "work from home", I mean finally getting my Christmas baking on. I plan to be making all sorts of delicious goodies that include some cookies, candy, cheesecakes (yes, that's a plural!), and lasagna.

It's a perfect storm of a semi-legit reason to stay at home, procrastination, and a gigantic sweet tooth.

:) LJS

09 December 2008

It's the end of an era!

I am less than 12 hours from my last class that I will ever *have to* take. After 11 years of on again/off again classwork, this is a most-welcome conclusion. It's the end of an era folks! And, now I am one step closer to the point where my mom can't pick on me for being a professional student.

I'm also working on a paper for a conference proceeding. It is very tempting to make the whole thing a beta version, because I don't think anyone reads them. But said paper has to be vetted by The Chief, and beta versions simply will not do. I have a reputation to maintain (I think). I just wish I could work in the word "awesome" into one paper..just once.

Watched "Step Brothers" last night. That was one funny, but foul, movie. But I love me some Will Farrell. Seriously, I'd watch that guy read the newspaper.

Stop on over at the Monkey Barn. Hyperion has gift suggestions and a video that is guaranteed to make you smile.

08 December 2008

Mostly Tepid Person

David Gregory!?!? {sigh}
I decided to join up with the Shrinking Piggies-a nice group of fellow bloggers who are trying to lose some poundage. Marital bliss and I are getting along very well and, as a result, 15 pounds of happiness have found their way to my...everywhere.

It's never too late or too early to start changing life habits, setting goals and making choices that will make my life better. Me? I enjoy seeing the amazing battle of will power and the couch of doom. Of course, the couch of doom will LOSE. Hahahaha.

My ambitious 2009 goals? Well here we go:
1. 3 half-marathons in the spring (Martian, Cleveland, Ann Arbor-Dexter).
1a. 15-20 miles running/week with consistency, by the end of Jan.
2. Working out 6 days/week. Even if it's *just* a 2 mile walk to the library and back.
3. No desserts except on the weekends.
4. Eat out only 1x/week. 1 mid-afternoon latte/week.

Of course 1 and 1a is all predicated on healthy knees. But, that's what PT is for right?
:) LJS

03 December 2008

Christmas Baking

For a few happy Christmas seasons, Hea and I would play hooky, dress in our most comfy jammies and bake cookies all day long. We made anywhere from 6-8 different kinds of cookies and, at the end of the day, we had a 1 foot layer of cookies on her kitchen table. It was all sorts of yummy. At the end of our day, we'd order cheese pizza (extra well-done please) and ogle over our favorite spygirl: Jennifer Garner. I miss Hea all the time, but especially this time of year. Hopefully, she and Yaz will make their own cookies!

Anyhoo, THE MAN and I will be creating our own traditions this year. It's our first year together (as in we're not separated by 1000 km!) and we're planning on making candy and baked goods. I'm thinking of breaking out of the cookie mold, but it will mean that the goods will not last as long. So it'll mean I'll have to share the baked love more quickly.

Some candidates for the Christmas goodies? Gosh, go over to Dragon's kitchen and take your pick! I'm excited about her Caramel Cake with Carmelized Butter Frosting, and Cheesecake Pops. I think I'll still make the Michigan Treasure cookies since they were so yummy.

As for the candy? We're thinking hard candy-maybe some toffee, or peanut brittle, or a ginger/cinamon concoction.

Dunder NASA

28 November 2008

Update on Dr. Purr

An update on Dr. Purr

I went to the Ann Arbor Cat Clinic on Monday to pick up a copy of Howie's rabies certificate and was so happy to see Dr. Purr. 
He has gained weight and his coat is shiny and pretty. He has some grey in his fur, so he's probably not just 2 years old. And he is playful! 

This is a nice story of what some good food and love in a safe home can do for a cat. Miracle workers, that clinic. He still needs a home. Maybe if I work on the MAN a bit more, Howie can have a brudder. 

:) LJS

27 November 2008

Lost in Translation

So with all this news lately about pirates, I've decided to give my pirate crew the holidays off. I have complete faith that they will hijack a nuclear submarine, nuke the bastards that are giving us a bad name, and then return all the stolen booty to their original owners. (Including returning the submarine, DESPITE my oft wanderlust about having such a sub in my fleet.) 

That's my crew. Righteous limeys. The Robin Hoods of the open seas. {sniffle} I'm so proud of them. 

In light of my crew's holiday, I've decided to take a break also. No, the break is not from my already sporatic written musings, which may one day be used against me in a court of law. 

Instead, the break is from being shy. I'm about to get all hate-filled Twinkie here on you, dear reader so I will forgive y'all if you decide to stop reading here. (legal notice: the "hate-filled Twinkie" is a registered trademark of KaplyInc...whom I love dearly and fear regularly)

I've noticed that I'm pretty freaking sick and tired of being the evil genius behind the curtain. I'm pretty darn smarht and cute and charming and personal. When those don't work, I can amaze you with the power of a wooden peg leg. Anyhoo, why should I let people speak for me when I know that I can do just as well or even better? 
(Oh sweet Garfield, I'm not about to invoke Hillary am I? Oh yes.)
I fear that I've lost my voice. And by golly, I'm going to find it. Slackers, dissenters, and asshats watch out. Here comes Lady Jane. 

20 November 2008

Something new

Thought it'd be nice to have change here in the Den.
:) LJS

18 November 2008

Anything is a nutritional supplement

This is one for all the chemists out there to enjoy a little chuckle:
"Systematic review of the nutritional supplements dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) in the treatment of osteoarthritis"

LOL. Nutritional Supplements.

01 November 2008


Hey everyone,
I used to think that GOTV was a television station. Heh. It's not. It means 'get out the vote'. In my support of Go-TV, I am letting all of my officers and ship crew off the boat for the whole day.

I would like to encourage everyone to go out and vote on Tuesday. The lines are going to be long, but be prepared! Bring a water, a puzzle and patience.

Wait in line.

Either way you slice it, this year's election is very important. Your vote, your voice, needs to be heard. There are local, state and federal issues that needs your input.

Wait in line.

:) LJS

26 October 2008

LOL Cattery

My late Sunday mewsings....

1. No, 'obligations' was not about anyone anyone knows. Especially not you Dragon. You know I love you.

2. I'm still too enthralled with LOL cats to be bothered with reality.

3. I know that you, too, are waiting with baited breath for my 2008 Detroit post-race post-mortem. It is coming.

4. The man is playing a game where he shoots bubbles. Bubbles. At least zombie targets are...potentially useful...someday.


hee hee hee...btw. I just came up with 'mewsings'. Isn't it fab and clever?

Five times 13.1

Welcome, LJS fans, to another edition of "half marathon post-mortem"! I'm your complainer-in-chief, LJS, and I'll be your host for these next thirteen miles...and then some.

Let me first mention how much lactic acid accumulation sucks ass. OK. There. It's said and done and I still can't walk down a flight of stairs without a grimace.

First, let me give major love to Lord Mullett who was roused from a peaceful slumber at 4:30 am to drive me and GM to the race. Thanks honey.

Onward with the program we go!

Pre-race: 2008 has been a long journey of blind ambition to desolation to resolution to accomplishment. It was simply enough to be there and to feel ready to run. It was a cold, dark morning in downtown Detroit. I woke up before 5am. A group of over 25,000 people gather in and it was so exciting.

Before the bridge are miles 0-3. I call them the innocent miles: This is the point where my body doesn't realize I'm about to ask it to run 13.1 miles. It is happy to just be out there running. Little does it know!
So things started off slow, it was about 6 minutes for our section to hit the start line. There were lots of people and we were all running in sync, so imagine thousands of heads bobbling at the same pace. It was cool. We got off to an easy pace and I felt good, aside from some tightness in my right leg. Energy was high and I really was just happy to be out there. The entertainment and fluid stations were great, as always.
The first mile marker is at mile 2. Now, runners are sort of an anal bunch when it comes to time. YES even for those like me who say they aren't. We are. We just try to lie about it. So, at mile 2, we're at a good starting pace.

Miles 3-6. Bah. These miles are so boring, with the exception of watching the sun rise over the Ambassador Bridge. Getting onto the bridge was slow because of construction. At mile 5, I noticed that our 'good starting pace' has lasted too long. It's pretty evident that we'll have to work harder to make up some time. Loaded up on Gu here.

Miles 7-9. These miles are sort of painful because you go from high energy to some weird la-la land of surviving. This stretch finishes our time in Windsor, we run under the water and make it back to Detroit. Here, I was starting to get tired. The tunnel was really warm and I took off one of my shirts. Big mistake because when we hit the surface, man it was cold. Our pace was better, and I was having fun. I wasn't feeling as wiped out as I usually do at this point in previous races, so I take that as a sign I did something right.

Miles 10-12. Oy. These are the miles when your body knows it can finish but your brain begins to revolt. Constant fighting between my body and mind. I knew on a body/cellular level that I was OK, I was trained for this and I can finish the distance. But my brain kept on telling me that I really should stop and sit down. Stupid brain! I just told myself to hang on. And, hopefully next time someone will tell the crowd "less cowbell".

Mile 13: Gosh, the only thing I really remember about this last stretch was a nice old man telling us "last turn, you can see the finish line". And we did. But it was sooooooo far away. Finishing the last 0.2 miles with people all around you and cheering you on is great. We saw Francis in the midst of all of those people, and it made me smile so much because this was my first race that I was running toward him because he was there. It was great, the first of many I hope!

Post-race: some hobbling around and trying to get hydrated and some nutrition.
Thanks again for a great run, GM. Next destination: MARS!

21 October 2008


Open letter to the over-promising, under-delivering twit:

Yes yes yes I know that what you are doing is overwhelmingly time consuming. But you should know that also and, as a result, NOT volunteer for other things. Let me tell you that I do not care that you are busy. Do what you said you were going to do. Dammit. If you do not fulfill your obligations...I will bear down on you with consequences and fury. Or at least make other people do it for me.
No, I don't think that your boss will be happy to learn that you volunteered to do something and now are backing out at the last minute.

Sincerely yours, the drill instructor LJS
Folks, I know I've complained about this sort of thing before here and on the Monkey Barn. But I am a very strong believer in doing what you say you are going to do (aka following up on your word). For starters, often times your word is the only thing you have and it better be good or else your reputation is in the gutter. Another view is that your reputation is not built on the promises you make but on the promises you deliver. Now, this kid's reputation with me is on shaky ground, at best, and when I ask for volunteers in the future I will remember this unfortunate event. I will not tolerate the "I'm busy" excuse because WE ARE ALL BUSY, dammit. And most of us still find time to fulfill obligations and promises.

16 October 2008

The G word

I believe that government is not a dirty word. I believe that government is made of people like US and can make lives better. I've experienced this on a very personal level: I would not be able to have gone to college if government did not give me a low-cost loan. I believe that it is morally and socially responsible to make sure that everybody has the right to lead a healthy happy life. Moreover, it makes economic sense to invest in education or preventative medicine instead of building more prisons or spending money to treat diseases that could have been avoided by simple preventative measures.

I see that my tax dollars, while not always spent in a manner I agree with (Iraq), are spent so my cousin, who is a single mom, can get free health care for her son. I see that people's lives are made better. I've seen people fed and housed; poor people having access to careers, education, transportation. Police now have armor vests and better technology to keep us safe. Research gets supported. Small businesses get start-up grants. How are these things bad?

So what that the government spends money on things you don't agree with? Do you really think that 300 million people are going to agree on anything? I think that government tries its best to help as many people as possible (when they're not "shock and awe"-ing them, but I digress).

I don't believe that if people were taxed less, they would necessarily donate that money to charitable causes. Look at tithes, as an example. Ask: How many people do you know tithe? How many churches are always asking for more money? Every church I know of is always underfunded, understaffed; always in danger of closing. Why? There is an unfortunate disconnect. Do you really think that they'd support other agencies if they can't/don't/won't even support their own church?

I'm not arguing for tax increases. I'm simply stating I recognize that government can be (and is generally) an agent of good. It's not a dirty word.

13 October 2008

Can you adopt a loving cat?

Howie KATT had his annual vet visit last week. I wish it had gone well, but we got stuck with Dr. Inept Newbie because I forgot the name of his regular vet (never again, shall I forget her sweet name).

One GREAT thing about Howie's vet office is that they love cats. In fact, they are a cat-only clinic. Their adoption program is wonderful and I like to come to Howie's appointment early so I can play with all of the cats waiting for a loving home.

This year, one just nearly broke my heart. Meet Dr. Purr. Let me tell you about him. He was found in a dumpster at a local hospital along with some insulating foam. He's had a rough start! When I first met him at the cat clinic, he was shy and tired. But I opened his cage and started to give him "feeder love" and he instantly became a purring monster-wanting more attention and cuddling. Dr. Purr is so sweet and so kind and is one of those cats that will always love his feeder. He reminds me so much of Howie when I found him-a bit in rough shape but very affectionate, very mild mannered and very much ready for a good home.

I wish I could bring home Dr. Purr, but I think Lord Mullett would not be pleased.

Can you?

:) LJS

10 October 2008

Elect Nietzsche!

Depressing times calls for a depressing leader. What is little-known this year, what with all the association issues, is that Nietzsche is running for President on the "Well-Preserved" ticket.
Never mind he is not an American, or even still alive.

Here is some thrilling sound bytes from the "recession is the new tech bubble" wave that's taking this country by storm!

"When you gaze long into the economy, the economy gazes back."
"Terrorist" (oops, wrong campaign! my bad)

And, for those of you concerned about Supreme Court nominees, Herr Fred has this to say:

"Although the most acute judges of the witches and even the witches themselves, were convinced of the guilt of witchery, the guilt nevertheless was non-existent. It is thus with all guilt. "

If you missed all 20+ of the Democrat party debates, you'll find this statement a stunning admission of his sexism!

"Behind all their personal vanity, women themselves always have an impersonal contempt for pigs with lipstick."

08 October 2008

Top 10!

Thanks to RandyO for:

The top ten reasons to buy a Honda Nighthawk

1. It looks like a motorcycle.

2. It doesn’t look like a lime green fish.

3. Nobody will steal it for parts.

4. It’s not a Harley.

5. You won’t wake up your neighbors if you ride in at night.

6. You don’t need an electric motor to back out of your parking space.

7. If you drop it in your driveway, your ego is the only thing that gets damaged.

8. You can ride it like a squid if you’re in the mood.

9. You can ride it like a grandmother if you’re not in the mood.

10. You don’t have to dress up in a neon colored kevlar clown suit to go riding.

25 September 2008

Friendly bacteria, my ass

(the title is for, TL. hope you're feeling better)
I'm still seething at the stupidity of the punk ass bitch who just so happens to be my TA for the semester. Watch me grit my teeth as I pretend to be nice to the soulless bastard. Instead of walking down to his office and beating him to a pulp using my awesome hybrid ninja-pirate skills, I choose to take out my aggression on consumer goods.

My therapist calls this progress.

I was reading the contents on the container of my Dannon yogurt and found something silly. There’s a list, a top 7 if you will, of the “reasons to enjoy Dannon today and for tomorrow”.

I present to you dear reader, verbatum...the reasons.

  1. Be fit. Contains calcium which can help with weight management
  2. Be vital. Is a good source of protein for muscle maintenance
  3. Be comfortable. Has active cultures that help milk digestion
  4. Be strong. Has calcium, essential for strong bones
  5. Be nourished. Contains important nutrients for children’s growth
  6. Be proactive. Provides friendly bacteria for your digestive tract
  7. Be happy! Is a great-tasting and satisfying part of your healthy diet.

Read carefully.

Now, here are my issues. (allow me, once again, to get all John McLaughlin on you good people)

Issue 1: Numbers 1 and 3 are arguing for the same ingredient, calcium, just in different ways

Issue 2: The active cultures ARE bacteria, so numbers 3 and 6 are the same.

Issue 3: The important nutrients? Calcium and protein. So, there goes number 5.

Thus the actual number of reasons to eat Dannon yogurt are three.

  1. Has nutrients
  2. Has bacteria
  3. Tastes yummy

Don’t let them fool you. Bastards, each and every one.

24 September 2008

Your lips move, but I can't hear what you're saying

...have I raved about Pandora yet? Well, maybe I should start. Music. Free. The good stuff.

I'm returning to the classics today: Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Roxy Music, Supertramp and The Beatles. I sometimes wish polyester was cool again.

Yeah, totally crushing on Nick Cave. The 'stache is fab. Awesomely fab.

I wish I could be a Mexican federale, sometimes. Or Leonard from "Raising Arizona" sans explosive ending.

I have ridden my motorcycle in 3 months than my dad has in 2 years. And mine's been broken.

In my dreams, I have met Hyperion and he makes excellent eggs with rye toast. It's not clear if Hypey has a 'stache though.

Is it bad to hold off on a job search until the election results are in? There ARE some opportunities in New Zealand.

I would really like to meet the Monkey Barners (present and alumni).

Random enough?

19 September 2008

International LJS day!

It was my day earlier this week. Check it out!

10 September 2008

MTP isn't the same

Yeah, I miss Tim Russert still.

08 September 2008

Stupid zealots

There is alot of political garbage out there. To a point, one can maintain a sense of humor. But, then that line gets crossed and it's just got to stop. I'm on the left, but I'm just aghast at some of the baloney floating out there from both sides.

Can we agree to:
1. Properly frame our arguments? The left has been absolutely horrible in its examination of Sarah Palin. Her record, and how it pertains to the issues of our economy, infrastructure, standing the world etc are important. Conspirary theories about this woman's progeny, the cost of her glasses and questioning her ability to do the VP job and be a mother at the same time is really bullshit. I question her ability to do the VP job. Period. (Shouldn't you?)

2. Stop this bullshit about Obama's religion? Seriously folks, the man is a Christian. Get over the funny-sounding name already. Slips of the tongue get the best of us, but what the right has done with this particular slip by Obama is...unchristian.

05 September 2008

The bully wears lipstick

It's pretty well known on the high seas that this pirate doesn't watch TV. So, I read the transcript for Sarah Palin's acceptance speech on Wednesday night because I've heard alot about it.

After the usual narrative about how she's a regular kind of gal, the teeth came out and so did the vicious attacks. Despite the fact that I can relate to her as a woman trying to balance home and work, I came to the overwhelming conclusion that this woman is just plain mean.

I can't help but think: What does it say about someone's character when they use their national introduction as an opportunity to lie, lie some more, mock regular people, bully and attack other people?

Now, compare the tone and content of Palin's acceptance speech to Barack Obama's speech on race. And afterwards, just try to tell me that all politicians are the same.

29 August 2008

Guess the politician

...no experience in foreign affairs
...shading dealings
...blatant pandering to the public

who am I talking about??

Sarah Palin folks!
In his obvious pandering to the female vote, McCain finds himself someone who completely negates all of the arguments "lack of experience" against Obama. I mean seriously. McCain is 72. And, do you really think that for one second that this woman who just got sworn in as Alaska's governor (after an earth-shattering 14 year career in local politics) can fill the shoes as president?

28 August 2008

Much more cheerful post

...and more random.

It occured to me today that I wrote the book on Raman spectroscopy of cartilage and Raman spectroscopy of inorganic pigments. "So I have that going for me."

I need to pick up coffee tonight. And, I need to put up curtains in our bedroom. We do have shades, but our nocturnal feline loves to set up his night watch duties on our bedroom window sill. And all throughout the night, we hear the pitter patter of blinds hitting each other has Howie KATT runs through them. I think I can hear him thinking "I am praying for my loved ones" during the night.

I've been listening to Barenaked Ladies. I like their cover of Bruce Cockburn's "Lovers in a Dangerous Time": " but nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight --
got to kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight"
...so true eh?

BTW: major kudos and a large cheesecake to the first person to name the first quote.

27 August 2008


Maybe I'm being a bit controversial here, but let me ask this. When the high point of one's CV is something along the lines of "I've spent 5-6 years studying the scientific equivalent to basket weaving", can they really say things like 'salary requirements' and 'geographical preference'? The hubris of some people in this building sort of validates my hypothesis that grad school is partially about socialization into the academic world, and this sometimes makes me silently curse.

Ostensibly, one goes for graduate studies to advance their career. And if the career trajectory doesn't include academia, then I think there are certain things that every analytical chemist should know if they want a job. Like how to run an HPLC. Like how to not be a slave to one technique. Like how to think about solving a problem, not making the problem fit into your knowledge. I think that there are not enough analytical chemists who can solve problems, who can step into any lab and say "ok, i know how to basically use any piece of equipment. now lets get to work", who are taught HOW to think rather than WHAT to think.

It's been a rough day for me and encountering silly people. It's move-in weekend and the undergrads are descending on my campus. Kali is behaving erratically, maybe it's the electrical system. I don't know, but I have a feeling that I'll be spending a weekend to figure it out.

On a good note, I did register for the 2008 Detroit half. :D

22 August 2008

All aboard!

So I got a newsletter from my beloved only-major-airline-in-the-area-so-I'm-forced-to-use-their-frequent-miles-program airline (herein known as NWA) complete with my name in the headlines:"LJS you can save money using our Cash and Miles program"

I was enraptured. Two of my most favorite things 1) Travelling and 2) saving money; all rolled up into one sweet goodness of a deal!? I was panting with excitement, breathless with anticipation. Where would I go with my 36,000+ miles? Hawaii, Florida, Mexico?!?!

But then I read the promotion in more detail. Below is the most egregious example: Travel to Florida.

OK OK OK, you're reading that it's only $139 for roundtrip to Florida and thinking "that's not so bad, LJS is off her rocker" right? BUT! There are two issues, the first making me think that NWA is so very evel and the second making me think that people are seriously off their rocker to not research before spending money on travel.

So, in my very best McLaughlin voice...
Issue 1
If you were to buy miles from NWA, it would cost you about 3.8 cents for EACH mile. But the value of each mile is variable, depending on the normal cost of the trip.
So....0.038*10000=$380 at the high end. So that in addition to, at least, $139, and you're looking at a very expensive roundtrip ticket that would otherwise cost you...

Issue 2
...about $125-150 (taxes not included) from Detroit. A quick search on travelocity found this for me and potentially saved a bunch of money. Even better, most of the cheapie fares were through NWA's partner airlines, so you'd be earning miles not spending them.

All told, if you did the miles and cash "deal", your miles would only bring a value of 1.2 cents/mile which is a really poor number because it is the bare minimum value of a mile.

Bottom Line: Be smart about using your frequent flier miles. Know their value and use them wisely. I'll be saving my miles for Hawaii, where my miles would be worth anywhere between 2.5 and 4.0 cents/mile. :D

14 August 2008

Ambition in 0.2 miles

I've recently come to a sort of peace with the idea that I may never run a marathon. Some parts of me, namely the knee joints and leg tendons, are actually rejoicing at this revelation. But where the corporeal body is wise, the brain is silly. Ambition creeps in. And on days where my knees and hamstrings aren't screaming at me, I think that maybe 26.2 miles is do-able.

But yesterday I had a great run. It was one of those perfect days where the weather, my energy level and the music just came together in harmony. I'm looking forward to the Detroit (half) marathon not as a consolation for not being able to do the full 26.2 but rather as a fulfilling and worthwhile goal in and of itself. Is it maturity? Doubtful. Maybe it's happiness and appreciation that I'm healthy enough to run, have the support and time to run, and still really really enjoy running.

So, in celebration, I present to you: 13 songs for 13.1 miles. Mild favorites from my iTUNES

Mile 1: Something mellow for the warm up. "Ride" by Cary Brothers
Mile 2: Something to meditate on: "Clocks" by Coldplay
Mile 3: Something to get over the bridge: "Never Let me Down" by Depeche Mode
Mile 4: Something for a new country: "New Slang" by The Shins
Mile 5: Something for the big D: "The Big Three Killed My Baby" by the White Stripes
Mile 6: Something peppy for motivation: "Dashboard" by Modest Mouse
Mile 7: Something for the morning sun: "Hard Sun" by Eddie Vedder
Mile 8: Something for the tunnel: "Where I End and You Begin" by Radiohead
Mile 9: Something for the hardest mile and great views: "3x5" by John Mayer
Mile 10: Something for another hard mile: "Chicago" by Sufjan Stevens
Mile 11: Something for the tired legs: "Black Math" by the White Stripes
Mile 12: Something for the mind: "Caught by the River" by Doves
Mile 13: Something for resolution: "How it ends" by DeVotchKa

06 August 2008

Funny? Now that's hot

Usually I'm not a fan of Paris Hilton, but this is a very funny response.

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

04 August 2008

New Music Mania

Oh the musical treasure trove that is the local library! So this week's theme is "soundtracks", and I picked up three.
1) Scrubs
2) The Last Kiss
3) Little Miss Sunshine

At first listen, all three are great. One song in particular is striking, especially because I have days when just "riding" is so appealing. Let me introduce you to:

"Ride" by Cary Brothers

You are everything I wanted
The scars of all I’ll ever know

If I told you you were right
Would you take my hand tonight?
If I told you the reasons why
Would you leave your life and ride?
And ride…

You saw all my pieces broken
This darkness that I could never show

If I told you you were right
Would you take my hand tonight?
If I told you the reasons why
Would you leave your life and ride?
And ride…

In other news, I dropped my bike, hit 75 mph and fixed the brakes (but not necessarily in that order) . Now that the bike brakes are fixed, maybe now that ride is possible. I can go anywhere with my love by my side.
And, I finished "Pride and Prejudice". {swoon} What a lovely read! On to my next "summer reading" book.

29 July 2008

Say it aint so Jack, I love you

Did Jack White just jump the shark?? Noooooooooo!!!! (although the song will be kick-butt, I'm sure)

For him, it's been downhill after our painful separation. But, alas, our love was not meant to last. Here's us in happier times.

25 July 2008

Take the good and the bad

I just heard back about an abstract submission:
They said "nay"...which is a bummer because San Francisco...October. Would have been great.
But it's good because I was working on a student award application and they wanted a 2-page "all about me" blurb...and I was all writers block about it because I can't include any of my guerrilla work in Peru.

24 July 2008

a meme about mmee

1. Where is your cell phone? On my desk

2. Where is your significant other? 15 feet from me

3. Your Hair? blondish with red

4. Your Mother? A whirling dervish of spastic energy

5. Your Father? The Quiet Man

6. Your favorite thing? My family

7. Your dream last night? Strange

8. Your dream/goal? World domination, a good motorcycle and pancakes every morning

9. The room you're in? I'm at the office

10. Your Fear? Heights, not necessarily Wuthering ;)

11. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Not in graduate school

12. Where were you last night? In bed

13. What you're not sarcastic? Who, me?!

14. Muffins? blueberry

15. One of your wish list items? More time, less stuff

16. Where you grew up? ohio

17. Last thing you did? Ate a really nice lunch at an outdoor concert

18. What are you wearing? T-shirt and shorts

19. Your TV? Crying because it never gets used

20. Your pet(s)? Howie

21. Your computer? iLOVE my iMAC Book

22. Your Life? Complete, happy and fun

23. Your mood? Generally good

24. Missing Someone? Everyone

25. Your car/truck? Ford station wagon

26. Something you're not wearing? Uncomfortable shoes

27. Your summer? Very fun so far!

28. Love Someone? everyone

29 Your favorite color? green

30. When is the last time you laughed? Today

31. Last time you cried? Can't remember

32. Who will resend? Dunno, I want it to be a surprise!

15 July 2008

Now we're zooming

Got the license, insurance, registration for my very own bike. Last night was its inaugural ride and it was so much fun! I would post photos but it's hard to ride a bike and take pictures at the same time.

Despite the head gaskets leaking, crooked handlebars and the rear light being something of the cobbled-together variety, I've devoted my time of late to the most important motorcycle tasks. Naming it!

So far, I really like Kali. Like the magnificent Hindu goddess, my bike appears fierce but is really a kind and loving spirit. The artwork on the bike tank does not exactly indicate "Hindu deity", as I'll hopefully be able to show you soon. But I've seen into its spirit and I know that Kali is a good fit.

So, yesterday Kali and I went on the freeway for the first time. 55...even 70 feels so different when the wind is actually hitting you. It's great! But I'm planning on keeping my freeway sojourns limited until I feel more comfortable on the bike.

14 July 2008

I searched for joy, but I bought it all

I got a lovely invitation from a lovely friend for a girls' night spa.

With all the demands you face, it’s important you still carve out time for that special someone in your life called ‘you.’ A BeautiControl Spa Escape is the perfect way to celebrate a happier, healthier, more balanced you.

Unfortunately it appears that the way to a happier, healthier, more-balanced me is to purchase some liquids, powders and nice-smelling things. If I start ranting about the slick marketing of this crap, I'll never stop. Happiness not in a freaking bottle! (Unless that bottle contains Riesling or a nice Rioja house red.) If I did go, it'd be for the fun of hanging out with my girlfriends. Not because I'm on a self-actualization quest and really thought it'd be found in a spa treatment.
I agree that taking time for yourself is very very important: as a slacker, my slackerhood is of utmost priority and I encourage everyone to take time for one's self. But it makes me curious if people really believe that if we do this 'day spa' thingy and buy all the goodies in pretty bottles, then we'll be happy?

11 July 2008

Getting all fan girl

I'm totally digging on John Mayer right now. Meow.

Just thought everyone should know that. I may need intervention. Especially if I start putting up "Tiger Beat" posters of him.


:) LJS

07 July 2008

The night he lost his faith?

I just read an amazing story by an MD. It's very touching, you may want to have some tissues handy.

But let me bring you to his last point:

"There is kindness in this world. There is compassion and decency. In a universe of death and suffering, there are things that make existence worth our while. In the heart of each person there is a penchant to make one's environment a better place. There does not need to be a God if we choose to exercise our proclivity for decency.

If God is nothing more than an intangible concept that motivates our hearts—a synonym for "love" and "kindness"—He is more powerful than I ever imagined as a believer."

See, I'd think that he had just found his faith. What do you think?

29 June 2008

Two papers, two more betas

Sometimes I wish I'd see more researchers not be so overly optimistic about their data. It's OK to doubt your own data,I think, and communicate that to the public.
Besides, it's way more fun to write the beta version of a conclusions section than what the public will actually see. But, remember, I'm very critical of my data and also very pessimistic.

Paper #1 conclusions

I think my results are on the deep side of depressing, but my advisor likes them. So maybe I’ll hold off on ritualistic hara-kiri.

Paper #2 conclusions

These results are not quite as cringe-inducing as my other data. But, I still reserve the right to take a Tracy-Lynn style spoon to my vital organs as I see fit.

26 June 2008

Nom nom

Hyperion likes beef jerky (why I'll never know, the stuff's horrible) but I'm a Sweet Tart gal. The Squeez stuff is the best (and fastest delivery of rocket-fuel proportions of good old fashioned sugar)

Finally! Nerd girls get their own boy band!

By far, the best video of the year. It's called epMotion. It's easy as 1-2-3.

25 June 2008

Pirates swoon over LOL Punditry

Combine LOLcat humor and snark...and one gets Pundit Kitchen. A whole bunch of awesomeness and tofu jerky.
:) LJS

24 June 2008

Holidays everyday! For everyone!

Come on over to International ____ Day, and find a new and unusual way to celebrate each and every day!
And, especially enjoy my masterpiece: June 29th! (no, I'm not going to tell you what it is, go on over and find out!)

19 June 2008

Hyperion's Opus

The Hyperion Institute is a place I visit every day, and he never disappoints. I adore his Edgar Allan Poe trilogy, and can't wait for a re-publish on that. {hint hint Hypey}

Today is really special at the Institute. He is re-publishing one of his finest pieces: The Wall.

Please take a moment to stop by and read it. If you were touched by it, please forward the link to someone else.

Thanks! :) LJS

10 June 2008

Where are my darn ruby slippers?

I'm really homesick, I just want to go home and ride my bicycle and speak english and run without worried about becoming roadkill and hug my cat and work in a lab with all the people I like and miss.

Last night on my run, I noticed lots of feral kids. You know what I mean by feral kids? Kids who wear new "vintage" Misfit t-shirts, who hang out at 10 pm on a street sidewalk in their $90 shoes and expensive bicycles, who may try to smoke because it looks cool, who probably are a lot nicer than we think they are-if given half a chance. Looking like a bunch of trouble, but generally quite harmless. I hung out with the feral kids in middle school because we were all in orchestra and nobody else would talk with nerdy me. They were my rock, my courage, my place to go for fun or someone to talk to.

So, when you see feral kids....I would advice a friendly smile, and a private snicker about their cluelessness about the Misfits.

08 June 2008

Kitteh makes political statements

Just so that everyone knows: the Obamas are not the only ones to fist bump

07 June 2008

My summertime gig

By the way, I'm in a band and will be rocking out this summer. Come check out me and the adventures at the Monkey Barn.

Yes, awesome t-shirts will be available!

No, we will not be playing synthesizer.

:) LJS

06 June 2008

Wee Kitteh!

Introducing MOLO! A wee lil kitteh that Oliver and Lorraine found and welcomed into their home.
Francis and I are enamoured with him, he's really adorable!

PS: Look at those choppers!

:) LJS

03 June 2008

Fun updates

So it's been a very busy week on the pirate boat of life, with many ups and a few downs. So to begin!
1. I am now a certified (and licensed) biker chick. Now I need to figure out which bike I'll use to cruise up and down the galleys. I'm eyeing Blue Thunder-my husband's bike. I had my first solo ride last night-and for me, exhilarating and nerve wracking. Afterall, how many of us were very confident when we first took a car out? I really enjoy riding so I want to practice as much as possible on back roads. My husband, when he watched me leave, felt really happy that now I'm also riding but sad because now he'll have to share the bike. LOL.
2. I'm now converted to the Mac side of the force. But, I'm operating Windows mostly. I really like having a computer that doesn't feel like lead bricks. Because I'm still a student, I got a free iTouch. Wheeee!
3. The Husband defends his thesis in less than one week!

3. My old computer crashed, necessitating purchase of the aforementioned Mac.
4. The brakes on the Silver Bullet were shot and required a complete overhaul.

So, my soul is happy but the wallet is hurting.

21 May 2008

Oh I'm sorry, you're not satisfied? TFB

An interesting article in Slate where the idea of over-prescribing antibiotics is discussed from an ER doctor's perspective. What I though the most screwed up was that the doctor was considering patient satisfaction as a criterion for prescribing an antibiotic.
Satisfaction. Hmmmm. Interesting.

Think about this. Doctors worry if their patient is satisfied with their experience. And they (in part) base their prescribing behavior on their perceptions of patient expectation and making the patient happy. Am I the only one who thinks this is messed up?

How about doctors worry about healing patients first? I don't recall the Hippocratic oath mentioning satisfying patients. Aren't doctors supposed to know what is best for patients afterall? Personally, if you were my patient and you got pissed after I told you that no medicine was necessary...I'd kick your scrawy, whiny butt out of my office...and charge you double for the visit.

Thank goodness I'm not an MD eh?

13 May 2008

Into the wild

Yesterday I saw a guy in my yoga class with a “Torres del Paine” t-shirt, and it got my traveler instincts going. The Paine Circuit is one of my ‘dream’ places to trek; a place I’ve promised to myself if I should ever graduate. (Not that I dislike school, I really enjoy it, but I’ve been at this a while and it’d be nice to realize that, after 28 years’ school, I’d be done with a capital D)

And I got thinking (again). What drives us to travel? What drives someone like Chris McCandless to just…go? What keeps me from not just…going? Going out the door, past school, out of the state…with no rhyme, reason, ideology or agenda. Finding what you find. I’ve thought about this often, and I’m tired of being an armchair traveler. Reading about beautiful places, instead of seeing the beauty within arms reach. Why does intrepid necessarily follow travel? Why does a ‘fourteener’ inspire more awe than a wild local orchid? Is the concept of appreciating beauty learned or is it innate?

Who knows? I surely don’t. But I’m not content to watch the nature channel to find out. My summer plans are ambitious, the travel extensive. I don’t know if there’ll be anyone around to keep up. But, if you’re interested in walking up Mt. Washington, biking Mackinac island and walking part of the AT…then I’m you gal.

11 May 2008

Another book chapter, another beta

{sigh} I have such a tough time with opening sentences. But, isn't this one a doozy? :) LJS

"Raman spectroscopy of inorganic materials is a growing field, with a long and sordid history comparing only to the multi-year reign of daytime television's “Young and the Restless” in terms of drama and name-calling."

(Of course, it's not true. But, it does make my topic sound more interesting. And! it's my beta version.)

03 April 2008

Get smooved and more!

Some fun links I found this week are as follows and I quote

1. Get rid of all those prepaid junk mail envelopes creatively!

2. Get your dose of newly arrived Smoove B. Damn.

3. A new scientific (and snarky) look at stuff white people like.

4. Which reminds me how much I love San Francisco.

:) LJS

25 March 2008

Guess who's coming to dinner?

"Please be advised that we will be able to issue your visa."

The best thing I've heard in two and half months.


OK, so there goes the Cleveland

In my best Stewie voice, I've been cursing my left knee. Daaaaaammmm you kneee! What's wrong? It's freaking sore as heck. Here, let me bore you with my symptoms.

My posterior medial knee are is sore and is sore to the touch. My front shin, closer to my patella, rather than my ankle is also sore. It hurts the back of my left knee to sit in virasana. (btw, awesome legwarmers eh?) And I can't stretch the leg out without it feeling tight and sore. I stopped running because it hurts too much during and after the run. (I can just feel the pounds creep on) I stopped training for Cleveland and I doubt I'll be well enough for the Martian half. Daaaaaaaammm.
I've been doing R.I.C.E. for treatment, and have myriad doctor's appointments. Hopefully I can salvage my knee in time for the Dexter-Ann Arbor. Until then...active rest will commence. Walking home, looking like a fool on the elliptical, and getting my bicycle ready for riding. These should keep me, at least, somewhat in shape until this thing gets better.
But, hey, Detroit is *only* 7 months away. And, I hate training in the summer but I want to run a marathon this year. I'll have plenty of time to train for Detroit. This time, I'll be more diligent about maintaining a weekly base mileage of 15-20 miles/week. I think I did too much, too fast-on a stupid track, nonetheless.

Not everyone can win, but everyone can be consistent.

19 March 2008

Houston, we are a go for 26.2?

I've been a marathon training! With the usual quirks and quarks of my age-d legs. I've been fighting off/waiting off a tight ligament behind my left knee. I reduced my miles and have been diligent with stretching and taking it easy. I'm a week behind on my training.
Last week's long run of 10 miles was good, my knee didn't bother me until nearly the end. This week I'm scheduled for 16. I keep on telling myself "ok, if this week's long run goes well, then I'll register for the Cleveland marathon". My 15 mile run was miserable, but Montreal's shitty sidewalks may have had something to do with that. This week will mark my return to "insanely long long runs" and I'll probably run over 3 hours.
Maybe now I'll be serious about it. If this week's long run goes well....

So this is my ambitious spring schedule of races.

April 6-Martian Invasion of Races (half)
May 18-Cleveland Marathon (full!?!)
June 1-Dexter-Ann Arbor (half)

Wish me luck! (and happy knees!)

Goodbye, Suburbia

I used to live in suburbia. Pleasant, yet. Monochromatic? Mostly, unfortunately, yes. Boring as all get out? OMG, yes. It didn't help that the 'burb was isolated and getting to a half-way decent store meant a 15-20 minute car drive. What WAS very nice, though, were my long runs because the country roads were long and winding and isolated. Me and my roads.
Anyway, now I've grown up (sort of) and moved closer to the city. Closer to downtown, shops, work etc. My poor car is relegated to "recreational vehicle" status.
It is interesting, too, to see that lately a financial impetus has arisen for people to get out of their single-family bubbles. An idea to share a home with people(s) actually makes financial sense, especially for these really large McMansions where...really...do you, your spouse, 1.5 kids and 3 cats really need 5000 square feet??
Think about it.

18 March 2008

The key word today is: sarcasm

Item #1: No, really, it is not a political statement when Michigan "What's a CAFE standard?" Democrats, full of moral and honest and intelligent folks, attracts a Wyoming "Cow, it's what for breakfast, lunch and dinner!" Democrat for its big yearly fundraiser.

Item #2: What do you do when your stock has lost over 20% valuation in less than 6 months? Write an awesome new theme song!

Item #3: I love me some snow. Snow snow snow!

Item #4: In a time of failing economies, poor health care, two wars and a still unsecure border, I am comforted to know that America's fascination with politicians' sex lives is negligible.

14 February 2008


I just can't adore Nigella Lawson enough. She talked to NPR about chocolate today. Enjoy!

29 January 2008

Love thy crittars!

Reading this story made me really sad, and angry. Why do people abandon their pets when their homes are foreclosed? There's no excuse to treat a pet like that.
I'm going home to hug my critter.

10 January 2008

It's all about Kerry

Sometimes an endorsement is not an endorsement.

Why do pundits call Hillary Clinton "Mrs. Clinton" instead of "Senator Clinton" (which they do for Obama, Dodd, Gravel, Biden...heck, even Edwards)? It is subtle, but it does make a difference.

09 January 2008

Auction me

I got an email from UM's athletic department, telling me that it's my LAST CHANCE TO BID on this original coin. So, I was curious and checked it out...because doesn't everyone want to have a original coin used at the UM-OSU football game? Geez, the coin has so much history afterall. It's the famous 2007 UM-OSU battle, in which Lloyd Carr blows our chances at a Big 10 title for the last time. And the money is going to charity. (Unfortunately it's not the "help dig LJS from the abyss of student loan debt" endowment.)

I figured that UM isn't sucking as much money from me as it possibly could YET so...why not eh?

Then I saw the price on the bid. (no I'm not going to tell you because you won't believe me, this is something you need to see with your own eyes)

Words utterly escape me. Although there's a whole bunch of "wtf" going on. Have we really become a society dominated by sports fanatics, greedy administrators, manipulative marketeers, and materialistic people who use the whitewash of "charity donations" to enable superfluous purchases?? And the thing that pisses me off the most about this is that they have the gall to send this spam to students, most of whom are insanely in debt from student loans because this is one of the most expensive public universities to attend.

More later, and there will be squirrels.