Saturday, September 29, 2007

Iced Coffee at Home

My caffeine dependency is back, but mild for now. I just need a cup of coffee every other day at the least to prevent headaches. At work I fulfill my requirement out of the giant urn of cheap coffee in the cafeteria, and since I'm always cold at work the hot coffee always seems like a good idea. At home, we keep it a warm 75 degrees in the summer, so over the weekends I've enjoyed making iced coffee. (I have to say that having an automatic ice maker in the freezer is one of those small luxuries that I will miss a lot if I ever need to give it up.)

I brew 4 cups (coffee-maker cup markings) using 5 scoops of coffee. I fill a tall glass with ice, and dispense a nice amount of Hershey's chocolate syrup over the ice. When the coffee is ready, I pour it directly onto the ice. (My reasoning here is that will cool the hot coffee down enough to avoid thermally shocking the glass. No broken glasses, yet.) Stir well. As long as some ice is left un-melted the coffee is going to be cool enough. Then I drink half the glass, fill it back up with ice and more coffee, and repeat.

My favorite thing about this is that it doesn't need any milk. After many years of milk-consumption, my system decided that digesting dairy just wasn't a priority anymore. Even with Lactaid (well, the Target brand Lactaid-equivalent) I can't drink a tall glass of milk, so chocolate milk is totally out of reach. Now I have chocolate coffee, so I don't feel so bad.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I Know this Guy!

LEGO link:
Sean has worked his way into having the BEST JOB EVER. I know him from High School, we met in Drama Club during my freshman year, which was his senior year. Last time I saw Sean was in 2002, when he flew from NYC to Indiana to attend my wedding. At that point, I think he still had a normal geek job designing web interfaces. I had no idea that his basement LEGO obsession had turned into this...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Reminder About 24-Hour Play Festival

The 24-hour play festival for this year is this weekend. If you are in Terre Haute, or near it, or know someone who is who you can warn, I HIGHLY recommend attendance. The performance itself is held at 8pm on Saturday, the 22nd, in the Kahn rooms of the Student Union at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. I'm sure it is free. I'm sure it will not be suitable for children or the easily offended.

If you can't recall, or haven't read the rest of this blog, here's how it works: On 7:30pm Friday we all meet in Hatfield Hall. Groups are formed randomly, with one writer, one director, and 4.25 actors each. At 8pm we are assigned one prop per group and get started. The writer meets with the actors and the director for about a half an hour to get a feel for the group and their capabilities. Then the actors go away and the writer and the director brainstorm a few ideas. The the writers all go to a location (TBD) to write. At 8am the next morning, the script is due back at Hatfield to be handed off to the director and actors. They get 12 hours to memorize and practice the show before the world-premiere.

This year there are 8 groups. Brian and I are writers. So is Dr. Tom from the ME department. This year, Dr. Julia Williams is one of the directors. Maybe this year you can be one of the audience?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Career Networking the Easy Way

We've been through the Career Center lectures on how important it is to build a Network of professional contacts. This works great for business-types who get used to talking, shmoozing, golfing, hey-buddying, cold-calling, etc. for a living. But what about the Engineer or Scientist, who may be a bit introverted, and a bit shy about approaching new people? Kind of difficult to grow a network then, right? Not anymore! Enter, the Internet, again the solver of all problems: check out LinkedIn. Use it to find former coworkers, meet more people at your current job, catch up with where your college acquaintances are working now, and even check on if your ex-boyfriend is still un-or-under-employed!

This is the first friend-tallying website I've joined. It seems to have more of a point than the others, and the professional emphasis should keep out the Trolls. It came recommended by a manager at a supplier that we visited in San Jose, CA, last month. My profile has very little content right now. I've got to dig up an old resume to look up job titles before adding the old summer internships. And I'm certainly not going to pay for an upgraded membership until I actually need to USE the Network I've built.

If you do join, I'm easy to find. A search on my name nets one result right now. Send me an invite! If I know you in real life, and you don't suck, I'll add you to my Network. (Hint: that is almost everyone I can think of. Unless you were my junior year optics project partner, who decided that D is for Diploma and left me to redo his half of the project...)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Dundee Road Race Results

Well, I did a lot better this morning than I thought I would - finished the 5K Dundee Road Race in 36 minutes and 40 seconds. That was good enough to get 3rd place in my age group (women ages 25 to 29) and give me a medal on a green ribbon! Of course, that is just a testament to how small this race was. I think I was the last of the running 5K participants to finish, but at least only the first two 10K runners passed me before the finish line. I spent half the time running, including the first 10 minutes, and half the time walking. The weather was chilly, but not bad once I got going. Partly cloudy, no noticeable wind, and there was Starbucks and bagels waiting at the finish area.

So that was fun, but I spent a lot of time standing around by myself before and after the race. I did strike up a conversation with a spectator who had an older camera hanging around his neck. Turns out it was a Leica that his dad had won in a poker game in Korea. (Nice prize!) I don't have anything that fancy in my collection, certainly nothing I've purchased. The jewel of my antique camera collection is a Contaflex, graciously given to me by the in-laws when a great-grandfather passed away. Even so, I wouldn't bring that to a sporting event because there is too much sentiment attached to it.

Now it is time to take the rest of the day off!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Funks, Breaking-out-of

For about the last two weeks I've been in a "depressive funk" of a very frustrating variety. There was the familiar feeling of empty-blah-grrr going on most of the time, expect for the welcome bright spots whenever I got to spend time with friends. What made this time of bad-feeling extra frustrating was that I could not diagnose the trigger: an event, experience, or thought that would explain why I fell into the funk in the first place. Work is going well, Home is going well, I wasn't upset with myself about anything in particular, and I've even been getting enough sleep lately. So without something that I could identify to "fix", I had to just put up with the crappy mood and wait for it to lift naturally.

The thought that helps me most while I'm depressed is "It will get better." I've been through this to the other side enough times, I trust that even though I can't make myself feel better NOW, I will be feeling better eventually. Remembering that phrase, and repeating it when all my other thoughts are negative, is the best thing I can do while I'm "funked."

Still, I try to pay attention to what I was doing when the cloud finally lifts. Maybe there is a secret bullet for me? Like how the only way to get rid of my hiccups is to breathe deeply, slowly, and calmly for a few minutes? Maybe it isn't the same thing every time, and I should start building a toolbox instead of relying on just one cure. I did start feeling better again today, and maybe it was a coincidence, but here is what was going on:

I was at work, finally getting through a task that I've put off for more than a month. I had been having trouble concentrating so I found a mix CD in my desk that I had made for my MRI last year. When "This Must be the Place" by the Talking Heads started playing towards the end of the disk, I felt something curious. I'm not sure how to explain the feeling, other than my shitty mood seemed to dissolve as the sound met it in my brain. They couldn't exist in the same place above my ears for some reason. (I don't think I have any emotional linkages to this song - at least not consciously?) By the time it was over I really felt good.

So I've got to remember that, but not get my hopes up about music working next time.

Other random nice things:
Open source sewing!
I signed up for another 5k (and it is next week)!
Another 24 hour play festival is happening the weekend before Homecoming!


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