Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Adventure That Wasn't

It all started around 9:30 Sunday night.  I wanted to see Fright Night, cause, let's face it, Colin Farrell as Jerry the vampire and Peter Vincent played by my favorite doctor, David Tennant?  Yes, please.  If you haven't seen the original, with Chris Sarandon (Prince Humperdink), as Jerry, I strongly recommend it.  So the plan was to go to an 9:55 showing and to meet a couple of friends from work there.  I looked up directions since we had never been to this theater before, and in a moment of incredible foresight, I choose the route taking the roads I know rather than the quickest one involving the interstate.  We get downstairs, and as we're walking towards the cars, Nathan asks which one we're taking.  I realize I forgot my keys upstairs and Nathan says it's no big deal we can take his, cause it should be ok.  This was our first mistake.

Let me explain:  We had just taken Nathan's car into the shop the previous week for acceleration issues.  It has been acting a little overtuned since he got it back, but generally ok.  Also, it should be noted that Nathan drives a stick.

So we get on the road.  And as we're driving it's still acting a little funky but generally ok.  Until we get to the first hill.  And, let me stress that this is not a big hill.  The car starts slowing down, and Nathan keeps trying to rev it with NOTHING happening in the acceleration department.  It got to the point that I was a little worried we'd roll backwards.  From that point on, the car was failing hardcore.  He'd be revving the engine to the point of 5 or 6 rpms and it would get to an acceptable speed eventually, but by eventually, I mean a couple miles and an acceptable speed would be 30.  Did I mention the route to the theater involved highways? (at least it didn't involve interstates.  See? I'm awesome!) Yeah, and stoplights.  So there we were going around 30 on the highway praying for the light to not turn red because then the process starts all over again.  So, at this point, we've been on the road for twenty minutes on what should have been a 15 minute drive and we're nowhere close to the theater.  I was starting to freak out and we decide that the theater isn't going to happen.  Called our friends to let them know;  "go on without us, Save yourselves!!" and we limped the car into a Kohls parking lot.  Also, at this point he was having serious problems getting the car to 20 mph and there was a distinct burnt rubber smell.  We realize, the car is not making it back to the apartment.

So, there we are, stranded in a business area of Madison, at 10 o'clock on a Sunday night.  We decide to get a cab.  "Wait, CRAP, we don't have cash," I realize.  So we start walking to find an ATM.  We see a bank nearby and walk there.  Only, they want to charge a $5.00 fee just to use their ATM.  "F That!" we decide.  In the distance, I see a Hooters.  "I got it!  Let's just walk to Hooters! Surely, they have an ATM, and we can grab a beer while we wait for the cab.  I want beer."  We start walking, and somewhere on the way there I mention that it's "adventures like this that bring marriages closer together."  We get to Hooters.  No ATM.  So, farther down the street, I see a shell gas station.  "ok, they HAVE to have an ATM" and we start walking.  Luckily, the gas station did, in fact, have a gas station.  We get money, a couple of drinks, and Nathan finds the number for a cab (thank god for smartphones!) and calls them.  Their response:  "We'll work on getting someone out there"

My response:  "....what the hell does THAT mean?"

So there we were, 10:30ish at this point on a Sunday night in Madison, and what are we doing?  Loitering outside of a shell gas station because we didn't think to go back to the Hooters to call the cab from there.  And now, Nathan keeps going on about wanting an adventure.  Yep, hanging out outside of a gas station.

We keep it classy.
Nathan looking excited.  Clearly, I should not have used the word adventure.

Did I mention I take pictures when I'm bored?

So, while we're waiting outside the gas station I mention that I feel like we're in a Jay and Silent Bob scene, only I'm a chick so we're missing one.  Nathan perks up and goes "Yeah, I need Brian!"  Then realizes we're in Madison and Brian is in Mattoon.

Then, he got sad.

After what seemed like hours, but was, in reality, roughly 30 minutes the cab gets there and we're on our way home!  I look at the cab window......and see a Visa and Mastercard sticker......

WHEN DID CABS START TAKING DEBIT?!?!  Why didn't I know this before walking all over the place for an ATM?!

Finally, we were home.  No Harold and Kumar adventures to speak of, but we made the best out of our situation.  If your wondering what was wrong with the car?  The clutch went out.  Found that out the next day after retrieving it from Kohls.

And, I still want to go see Fright Night.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


     Kayla was here!!  She came here last weekend to tour Madison, catch up, and also dye my hair.  We did a tour of downtown and all of it's fabulous little shops on State Street.  We didn't wake up early enough for the farmer's market (dang you 2nd shift schedule!) but she DID get to try Glass Nickel Pizza (which, is AMAZING, for all of you who haven't been to Madison) and Milio's which is essentially Jimmy John's but better.  (yes, you heard me, I said BETTER!) Either way, it was fantastic to see her.  Also, she did a fantastic job on my hair.  Now, maybe, one of these days I'll be brave enough to do it myself.  Cause, I still can't find it in myself to spend 60-70 dollars every 6-8 weeks to get it professionally dyed.

We're daaaamn fine :)

     Catching up with her also made me realize how awesome my friends are.  Me and her rarely get to talk outside of the occasional facebook post, text, IM, etc.  But when we do get to hang out, we pick up exactly where we left off.  (complete with watching really RANDOM FRENCH CRAP *cough*kayla*cough*)  I love that.  And, it occurred to me that all of the close friends I've gained are like that.  Whether it be my girls, or the friends I've gained through my relationship with Nathan, or my friends from school, whenever I get a chance to see them, it's like we never left home.  And I think that's amazing.  

Random sidenote:  Can I credit the friends I've made through Nathan to him when technically I met him through Jess and Wade? *shrug*

   Speaking of my girls:  It just occurred to me that my weekend with Kayla was very Nsync and Beyonce-less. We didn't even listen to Single Ladies ONCE.  (It was the theme of my bachelorette party and it was AWESOME)  It should also be noted that usually when I write a blog post, I put on Pandora to one of my rock station.  What station am I listening to now, you might ask?  Timbaland.  Yeah, I said it.  I can't help it.  Rock just really didn't fit.  Anyway, this is getting ridiculous, so I should probably wrap it up.  I'm currently resisting the urge to put up embarrassing bachelorette party pictures.  But, just as a close, I want to note that to all of our friends (caution:  gratuitous sappiness ahead):  I LOVE AND MISS YOU ALL.  You are all amazing and our lives would not be as awesome without you. :)  

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Yes, I'm actually devoting a post entirely to food.

I love food.  And once upon a time, I fancied myself a decent cook.  Then, I married a wonderful man who is also a wonderful cook and I kind of let him take over the cooking duties while he looks for a job (ok, it wasn't so much "let him" as it was "pouted at him until I convinced him to cook cause I didn't feel like it when I got home from work," but he IS a really good cook).  Anyway, lately I keep getting the urge to cook.  I entirely blame the websites www.delish.com and www.smittenkitchen.com.  ESPECIALLY the latter.  The thing is, they're making me want to cook healthy meals instead of the crap I usually like to eat.  I'll flip through them having delusions of grandeur in the kitchen where I'm this awesome chef who can cook wonderful tasting healthy meals and fantastic deserts!  Can't forget the deserts! The cupcakes, the pies, the cookies....wait, where am I?

These should give a pretty good idea of where I'm coming from:

Oh yeah, did I mention in addition to a husband who can cook, I also have friends who are amazing at cooking.  Especially at tiramasu, now that I'm on a desert kick in my head.  (Yes, I'm referring to you Dani, you should mail me some Danimasu ASAP.)  So, after I find all these amazing recipes and have visions of myself in a chef's hat making amazing food....I turn around and look at my kitchen.  Which is a hallway.  A hallway that contains an oven, a sink, a refrigerator and barely enough counter space for a coffee maker and a microwave.  Really, we have to keep moving the garbage can because wherever we put it it blocks SOMETHING.  (Can you tell the kitchen is my least favorite part of our apartment?)  So, I guess all this is to ask...does ANYONE have ANY idea how to cook fabulous meals in a very confined space?  Cause as soon as I have the space and the means to buy fantastic ingredients it is SO on! :)

Friday, August 5, 2011


Have you ever seen NCIS?

More importantly...have you seen the awesome character Abby played by Pauley Perrette?


Yeah, she pretty much has my career.  She gets to work in a government forensics lab that's basically ALL HERS completely equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, solving crimes using science all while practically main-lining caffeine, being super smart and getting to wear what she wants and blast whatever music she feels like blasting at work.  *This is the part where I whine about it being NOT FAIR* Ok, so she has a Ph.D and her character is supposed to have, like, genius level intellect, but COME ON!!!  My own lab!!!! She calls one of her instruments Major Mass Spec!  Which is ABSOLUTELY something I would do.  There was a set of three instruments at my last job that I nicknamed Frankie Dean and Sammy.  I'm that level of chemistry-nerd.  She has my dream!

The reason I bring this up is there has been a resurgence of forensics career issues this week.  Don't get me wrong.  The company I work for is great and I'm getting tons of good lab experience.  But it's not my dream career.  Combine that with the fact that there's been a couple of dream openings this week and three basic things have been on my mind.  1.)  WANT!!!  2.)  It is super frustrating that it's nearly impossible right now to get hired onto an entry level position without already having experience.  Why not just go ahead and advertise an experienced position?  You're gonna give them slightly higher than entry level pay anyways.  That way you wouldn't get my  hopes up.  3.)  How douche-y would it be for me to take a new job this soon?  Is there a specific code of conduct for that?  And should I even care about it that much considering it's my DREAM CAREER.

Let's face it, "cut-throat" is one of the last terms anybody would use to describe me.  "Meek" on the other hand HAS been used to describe me.

Can I just be Abby already? (Don't worry, I'm well aware the spiked dog-collar/jet black pig-tails look is NOT one that I could pull off, I'd be satisfied just having the job.)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


     The story behind the name is this:  One random evening, me and my friends Brian and Danielle Sparr were in the car heading to, most likely, Steak n Shake.  I'm pretty sure I was joining them as a break from schoolwork, still working on my masters degree at the time.  I don't remember who asked the question initially, but eventually, I was explaining to Brian the different areas of chemistry and which one my research applied to.  (and likely doing a horrible job, as I have since discovered I am HORRID at breaking chemistry into laymen terms)  We had finally gotten over the hurdle of how in the world there can be any other area other than Organic and Inorganic.  At this point, I suspected he was being deliberately obtuse.  I then said, "So anyway, I'm studying Physical Chemistry, which is another one."  Brian:  "Physical Chemistry?" "Yeah, it studies kinetics and thermodynamics and stuff" "Kinetic Chemistry?!  Is that like getting hit by a bus?"

     He broke my brain with that question.  Don't know that it's ever quite recovered.

     Anyway, I decided to go with that for the name because I intend to this blog to be my outlet for all of the crazy changes that have happened/are still happening in the last few years.  (it's also possible that I named it because I was trying to come up with a chemistry based name and that story popped into my head and WOULDN'T LEAVE.)  Since that story I have received my master's degree involving writing and defending a thesis. I've gotten married to a wonderful man, who any of you readers will likely have to deal with me being sappy about.  Moved, twice, to locations ranging from 1-4 hours away from where we were and started two different jobs.  It's been a whirlwind and I've realized that all of the changes haven't completely been processed.  So, I figured I should probably be writing some of this down for posterity.  If anyone is reading this, I hope you will enjoy the randomness.  (and it will likely be VERY random at times.  I'm fairly certain many entries will be written with a glass of Merlot next to me.)  :)

My Muse