It was not rain

Wooooooo it’s Friday! -Does Friday dance-

Yesterday was a bit of a bust. Ever have those days when you just need to accept that nothing productive is going to happen? Yep. That’s it.


Sadly we are out of tequila so that margarita didn’t happen. Maybe next time!

One of the nice things of grad school is that you can make your own hours (if your adviser allows it). So, once productivity halted around 3 pm, I went home to get a run in.

By the time I got home, the sunny day had gotten overcast. I checked the forecast since running in the rain when it’s 40 degrees out is a recipe for disaster and we were cleared for rain for another couple of hours. So I decided to head out with a rain coat just in case.

As I got ready to head out, I heard the sound of a light sprinkle. After looking out and verifying that it was, indeed, a light sprinkle, I decided to continue with a short 2 mile run.

It was not rain.

This was the look on my face as the realization of exactly what was falling from the sky hit me.


It was not rain. Rain does not bounce.

It. Was. Sleet.

Thoughts that went through my head while running:

  • Sleet hurts when it hits your eyelid. Ow.
  • My legs are cold. My feet are cold. My face is really cold.
  • Man up Amanda, you got this.
  • The greenway is kinda creepy with no one on it.
  • SHIT what was that noise?!? Oh, wait. That was my jacket.

Did 2.2 miles in 18 min (8:28 min pace) and came in and gleefully sat and watched Dr. Who for the rest of the evening! Where it was nice and warm 🙂


Indiana Bones and the World of Doom

So here I am, shamelessly exploiting our dog for blog content. I figured you could use some background though. I got Indy when she was about 11 weeks old.


Obligatory naked shot

Here she is napping with her first toy, the octopus.

IMAG0855She was already traumatized although I didn’t realize the extent of it until I got her home. She was scared of life and everything in it. When she was a puppy lots of things would quite literally scare the shit out of her including but not limited too small children (can’t blame her there), skateboards, any and all people, most things that made noise, doorways, stray leaves, suspicious looking toys and even me if I had been away for more than a few minutes. She seemed to think I might have changed and was suddenly out to get her. Her oldest friend Xiao Bao helps her learn how to be a real dog.


Here’s a good shot where she looks totally normal. No hint of the neurotic dog that darts through doorways, hides under the big table or accidentally craps themselves. She was very comfortable in my parents backyard in this pic although she did pee in the car on the way up there.


I spent a lot of time researching how to raise a dog and train them to be good. Indy’s disposition helped a lot too. She was too scared to misbehave. I took a beginner training class at pet smart which helped us get the basics down.

IMAG0989Eventually she got the whole potty training thing and I moved to a new apartment because I like carpets that haven’t been peed on… whatever, I’m picky like that.

Since then we’ve had a lot of great adventures. I’m always working on pushing her out of her comfort zone

IMAG0920Then we met Amanda and she had ideas for even more great adventures. We took her swimming and mountain climbing

wpid-20141225_132941.jpgand she bonded with Amanda in no time flat. I was suddenly second best when it came to getting pets, I’m pretty sure it’s mainly the fingernails though 😉 In fact, she was out there cheering Amanda on in her most recent marathon

wpid-20141102_093618.jpgWhen we moved in together Indy faced a new challenge. Molly, the guardian of the wench house, is a sassy and very dominant corgi. Indy’s baseline of mild panic increased to constant fear as she adjusted to living with new people and a bossy dog who felt like her territory had been invaded. After a while the friction between the two decreased and they are a little more tolerant of each other.

wpid-20140718_074141.jpgShe still get’s to have play dates with the dogs she like though. She loves her friends and knows them all by name. If we ask her if she wants to go see Xiao Bao or Copper then she starts jumping and whining until we go.


We’ve also recently relaxed rules about being on the bed. It took some time for Indy to be ok with being up on a people bed but now she loves it.


wpid-20150129_203212.jpgWe’ve become a really nice little family ❤


New Lab Adventures

Good morning! Hope you all are off to a good Wednesday!

Yesterday was pretty exciting in grad school world. I started using a new lab! My research group has access to two labs, one with standard electrical equipment and some cool screen printing equipment (this is the lab I usually work in), and another with two ALD (atomic layer deposition) tools and a couple of nanofabrication tools (this is more chemical and therefore more cool). (Note: we’ll do a post on what exactly is nano soon)

Starting a new research project can be a little scary at first. You kinda bumble about the lab not knowing where anything is or really what you’re doing yet. Basically you spend a couple days feeling like a total idiot who has never researched before.

The best way to get rid of that feeling? Just dive in!

Aaaaaand that’s what I was doing yesterday. Fabricating some new flexible materials with graphene (follow the link for a brief intro to this awesome nanomaterial).


The samples turned out okay for my first attempt. They’ll get better as I get more comfortable with the fabrication process and more familiar with the new lab.

We hit up the gym after work for a little bit. O.M.G. It was so packed! But we did a short total body workout before swinging by Trader Joe’s and heading home for dinner.

I acquired the memory of a goldfish again and forgot to take pictures of dinner (aka I ate it all and then remembered about pictures) but it was fantastic so you’re getting the recipe anyways. The recipe sounds super fancy, but is crazy simple to make. Seriously, dinner was on the table 30 min after we got home.

Butternut Squash Ravioli in Brown Butter with Crispy Sage


  • Package of butternut squash ravioli (we got ours from Trader Joe’s)
  • 3 Tbs salted butter
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage
  1. Get some water in a pot boiling for the ravioli and cook the ravioli according to the package directions.
  2. In a separate small pan, melt the butter on med. heat. While the butter is melting, pick the sage leaves off the stems and give them a rough chop.
  3. After the butter has completely melted, start lightly swirling the pan. You don’t want to let the butter sit and risk it burning. After a couple min toss in the chopped sage. Continue swirling the butter and sage while the butter browns.
  4. When the butter turns a golden brown and has a strong nutty scent, turn off the heat.
  5. Plate the cooked ravioli and top with the brown butter and sage. The sage will have gotten nice and crispy while cooking in the butter.

Serves 2 hungry people.

We had this with some salad and bread to make a complete meal of it.

Let me know if you give the recipe a try!

Meeting Meb

So I keep almost forgetting to go to class. No, scratch that. I keep forgetting to go to class and my friends keep reminding me. Thanks Francisco! Today class was actually useful. We learned a bunch of stuff we should have in the first week and that would have been really helpful working on our project. After a very productive morning, a nearly missed class and an afternoon of no motivation we went to a new running store downtown called Runologie for a social run led by Meb Keflezighi!


The crowd at Runologie

Meb won the Boston marathon last year, the year after the horrible bombing. He was also the first American to win the race in over 30 years and is the only person to have won the Boston Marathon, the New York marathon and an Olympic marathon medal. Basically he’s a pretty big deal for runners. I learned all this today and we got pictures and signed running t-shirts along with the free beer and pizza that Runologie provided. They were only serving an IPA, typically Amanda’s least favorite beer style and my most favorite. I may have been smugly satisfied when she said she enjoyed it 😀

wpid-20150126_193631.jpg The run was three miles and my ankle/foot bothered me a little bit but I’m icing it now and I hope it will be fine. I got a good look at the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon and half marathon courses on a poster up at Runologie and then got really scared remembered that I signed up to run the half. I’m in week two of my 12 week training program and haven’t spent any time crying so I’ll take that as a good sign.

wpid-20150126_193030.jpgThat’s it for tonight. Signing off to graph some data from today’s experiments and watch some Dr. Who. Season 4 was incredible and we’re a couple episodes into season 5!

This is Patrick

Hi friends! Hope you are having a productive and good start to the week. Yesterday was a super lazy day (I didn’t even reach 2000 steps on my Vivosmart) so today I would like to introduce you to Patrick.

Not this Patrick.


This Patrick.


Patrick is the very creepy maniquin in our lab. He is always there. He is always watching with his absurdly long eyelashes, perfectly manicured eyebrows and heavy guyliner.


I had to turn him away from my station so he’d stop looking at me. See?


I do not understand how he stands as he has some ankle issues.


Cankles? Elephantitis? Not sure but I’m worried…

Shirts never fit him quite right since his manboobs pecs are a bit odd.


Oh Patrick. The lab wouldn’t be the same without you watching over it.

Keep it cool.