Thursday, October 22, 2009

A short post to honor the things I love this week!

1. Moving more stuff up to Ithaca. There may be piles and piles of my stuff all over the apartment that I have to find a home for...but their home will be somewhere HERE.

2. Being off the lease at Osage Avenue. The only person stealing my pie from now on will be David, and I married him.

3. Glee. I LOVE Glee. I love everything about it, especially the musical numbers...though I must also say, Matthew Morrison is the new Patrick Dempsey. It kind of makes me wish that we would have burst into song throughout the hallways of Butler High...oh wait, we kind of did sometimes.

4. Going to Boston this weekend! And going to the hockey game, where BU will undoubtably crush Brian's Michigan. Go Terriers!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Making the rounds

Despite the fact that I feel buried underneath all of the writing projects on my desk at the moment (fellowship applications, manuscripts, and that whole thesis thing), I am still finding time to travel around the East Coast over the next few weeks, making stops in Butler (last weekend), New York City (Monday), and Boston (next weekend). I'm not sure these trips are necessarily fantastic for my productivity, but they are fantastically fun all the same!

David and I went to Butler last weekend to meet with Father Steve about our blessing ceremony. Our wedding in June was a civil service, so we are getting our marriage blessed at my hometown church while we are in Butler for Christmas. Though the paperwork has not come back yet, it is looking like the small prayer service will be held at St. Paul's Church on December 26 at 2:00 pm. It has been an interesting journey for me to go through this process because though it initially started as something that was incredibly important to my mother and other family members, it is now also something that has developed meaning for me (even if I sometimes get frustrated by all of the silly administrative requirements mandated by the Church). If nothing else, it will be nice to stand up at the altar and ask God to watch out for David and me as we navigate the tricky road of married life.

Monday I went to New York City to visit Elliot. I had wanted to make one more trip while the city was only a two hour Bolt bus ride away. We had an amazing time. We started the morning on a quest to find Tom Colicchio's 'wichcraft restaurant. David and I got Elliot into Top Chef when he visited us for Thanksgiving a few years ago, and so Elliot was dying to try out one of Tom's real restaurants (but one we could afford). We wandered the East Village for two hours searching for the location on E. 8th Street only to discover that it had closed (we finally had the brains to call after we noticed we were getting strange looks from people on the blocks we kept circulating). However, we were not deterred - we just stopped by the one on 5th Avenue instead later in the afternoon. It was so delicious! Elliot had a gourmet tuna sandwich that was out of this world (I should have ordered that one, I think) and I had an upscale grilled cheese with an argula / lemongrass salad. I think the most bizarre part of our adventure was that we were able to use Elliot's phone to place our order ahead of time - these iPhones really are taking over the universe! It won't be long before we all have them implanted in our wrists and Wikipedia linked to our brains...

Posted below is a picture Elliot and I found in Central Park. Obviously, drinking is not allowed there, but we thought it was particularly hilarious that the parks association decided to depict an outlaw of martinis in particular (perhaps a nod to the executives now sipping their martinis in the streets due to the recession??):

Later, we met up with Elliot's incredibly cute and nice boyfriend Justin for dinner at a diner called V*nyl. It was very gaudy in an 80's sort of way, but their food demanded to be taken seriously. Their from-scratch mac 'n' cheese was probably the best I've had in a long time! Here is a not-so-great photo of us taken while we were eating there (note, by not-so-great, I mean Elliot looks perfect and I am not even looking at the iPhone camera properly):

Last night I continued my hectic schedule by attending a high school career fair on behalf of my alma mater, Boston University. Though I was totally exhausted in the beginning, talking to these (VERY YOUNG) high schoolers and their parents about my BU experience was really fun. I felt like I did a good job of convincing them that BU was a great place to go to school. All of that talking about Boston has certainly gotten me excited to visit there next weekend!! I kept the BU sign from my table at the career fair to take with me to the hockey game against Michigan next Saturday. GO Terriers!

Until then...I should probably get back to writing about electrons...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A wonderful fall weekend

Hello friends! Fall is upon us - I wore a jacket to school today, the leaves are changing, and I will probably treat myself to a pumpkin spice latte sometime this week. This time of year does not beat Christmas...but it comes close. I love fall.

Last Thursday, David and I went to the They Might Be Giants concert. It was EXTREMELY fun. They are amazing performers, and we really enjoyed ourselves. Their songs are great, but more than that, they are really funny people. I think I enjoyed their comedic timing almost as much as the songs they played. But don't take my word for it! (Do you feel a shameless plug coming on? I do.) You can enjoy their comedic timing for yourself by reading my interview with the band here. This was my very first "real" interview, and it was a really great experience. I talked to the band for over an hour, and got much more material than I was able to post in my Science Cheerleader blog. The best part about the whole thing was that over the course of the hour, I really forgot I was "interviewing" - it felt much more like I was just chatting with people I already knew who just so happened to be music stars. It is reassuring to know that there are some successful musicians out there who remain down-to-earth.

The excitement continued as I made my first visit to CHESS (or Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source) with my new laboratory. The Crane lab uses this facility to obtain data that they use to solve the structures of particular proteins. I am so excited to get started, and had a great time on my field trip. Being in CHESS was like being in a submarine - every inch of every wall is covered with monitors and switches. It was a little overwhelming on my first day, but I am sure I will get the hang of it once I get going with my own experiments. The most exciting part of my tour was that I got a badge that said, "Cornell Postdoctoral fellow / Sarah Hokanson, PhD. I like the sound of that :) And so, I am here at Penn today running HPLCs and working on the drafts of my manuscripts so that I can graduate and become Sarah Hokanson, PhD.

Our Saturday and Sunday was full of fun, but also full of housework. I moved all of my kitchen stuff up to the apartment, so we moved some bookshelves around and got the pantry/kitchen organized again. It looks great - I love it. I will post some pictures of it, along with the rest of the apartment, once I am completely settled. We did find time to see two movies currently out in theaters - The Invention of Lying and Zombieland. (Both were good.) We also went to Sunday brunch at Simply Red (delicious!) and went hiking afterwards at Buttermilk Falls, and then came home to cheer on the Dolphins and the Steelers as they both won their games.

I would like to write this short note to the Steelers to close this blog entry: Dear Pittsburgh Steelers, I would just like to remind you that football games are always 60 minutes long. You cannot play 3 quarters incredibly well and expect to automatically win games. Please do better next week. Your faithful fan, Sarah