zubeneschamali: (fallquilt)
I've been on vacation in the Pacific Northwest/Vancouver (JUST missing the filming of both SPN and XF, which makes me bitterly unhappy), and in my travels to various quilt shops in the region, which is an important part of any vacation, I discovered this thing called the Row by Row Experience. There are over a thousand quilt shops across the country who are participating, each designing a free pattern for a row of a quilt around the theme of water. These are some of the designs:

Pics below the cut... )

The kicker is, you can only get the pattern from the physical shop, not online. And there are some really cool patterns from all over the country, and given my love of geography and of quilting, this seems like a natural challenge for me to take up. So if you live in the US or Canada, would you be able to help?

Details below the cut... )
zubeneschamali: (chicago flowers)
Hi, LJ! This is the first of at least three posts that I've been meaning to make for a couple of months now. I traveled to Kentucky in February, and I have some interesting pics from that. Then I went to New York in March, where I got to hang out with [livejournal.com profile] bewaretheides15 and [livejournal.com profile] tebtosca, both of whom are as awesome in person as online (not that you had any doubts, right?). Next week, it's up to Chicago for my annual super-sized academic conference (6,700 papers are being presented in 5 days), and then the semester will be almost over, whee!

The rest of this post is an update on my running, so feel free to skip it if that's not of interest to you. )
zubeneschamali: (mdw)
I find it really hard to believe that we've been here for a month already. Feels like we just got here! On the other hand, New Zealand seems forever ago, and Melbourne is starting to feel familiar. There's only seven weeks to go, one of which will be in Sydney, so it also feels like it's all going to be slipping away soon. :( I don't know if I can handle going back to a place without five cafes on every block, and worse yet, a place where they don't have flat whites. There's no brewed coffee here, just espresso (short black), espresso with water (long black), lattes, or something like a cappuccino but with micro-foamed milk (flat white). So coffee is always freshly made and always really flavorful. And it's everywhere. Sushi bars, Thai restaurants, fried chicken shops, pizza parlors, ice cream shops, etc. I decided early on to set myself the challenge of having coffee from a different place every day, and so far I haven't had to deviate more than a block off my usual walk to campus. :D

So I'm loving the coffee, and I'm loving living on the 16th floor overlooking the city and one of the many parks/gardens that fill the city (and are great for running in; thanks to pedestrian overpasses and riverside paths, the distance you can cover without having to cross more than one or two streets is incredible), and I'm loving that I'm missing one of the coldest and snowiest winters the Midwest has ever had (sorry not sorry). Here's the view from our bedroom, followed by two shots from the balcony:

Read more... )
zubeneschamali: (mdw)
The new year is 5 days old and I've already had one fangirl meetup: [livejournal.com profile] beadslut for a lovely brunch in St. Paul. The company as well as the biscuits and gravy were awesome; the subzero temps were not so awesome. Can't wait till tomorrow, when it's forecast to be colder here than it is on Mars. (No, I'm not kidding.)

For the first week of my post-every-week-all-year meme (which still needs a lot more blanks filled in--lurkers are particularly welcome!), [livejournal.com profile] wendy asked to see those pics of Scotland I teased about but never showed you. Not wanting to be accused of being a tease who doesn't put out deliver as promised, here they are!

Read more... )
zubeneschamali: (bled)
Back in the hot, flat, worn-down Midwest after three weeks in the Rockies. This was the first time in a very long time that I went on a trip just for the sake of going on vacation. Usually, I stay after a conference for a few days, or combine a vacation in one place with a trip to another place. This time, Mr. Z was the one conferencing, first for a week in Banff and then for two weeks in Park City. Mathematicians get to go to conferences in the coolest places. Thankfully, my yard isn't as dead as I was expecting after three weeks of no rain and ridiculously hot temperatures, although I did lose some plants. :(

It occurs to me that I never posted pics from my last trip, like I promised. So here's a huge picspam of what Z did on her summer vacation:

Read more... )
zubeneschamali: (mdw)
Graduation was Saturday, and it was wonderful. It's definitely one of my favorite days of the year because everyone's happy, and I get to meet students' parents (which often cracks me up with how much they resemble each other), and it's a nice, small ceremony for only 3-4 departments, so everyone gets to walk across the stage and shake the Dean's hand. Astonishingly, I didn't cry, though I did come close.

Also! Congrats to everyone on my f'list who graduated this year; I know there's quite a few of you. I'm going to miss the college updates, but I'm also proud of you. :)

It's weird to think that I've been here long enough now that these undergrads came in as freshmen when I was already here. It's like I've always been here, as far as they know. Even some of our Ph.D students have now come and gone since I've been here. Five years this fall, and yet it feels like I just arrived.

Which means it's time to take off to foreign lands! Mr. Z is currently at a conference in Marseille, and since I've never been to France, I'm flying out to meet him. Then on Saturday we'll transfer to Barcelona, where I have been before, and where I'm going to be doing some of the groundwork for a study abroad course next summer. (For which purpose I will be taking Spanish this fall, turning back into a student for a few hours a week. Eep.) After a week there, we have a couple of days in Madrid before flying back on the 30th.

In other words, I'll be around even less than I have been, but with good reason. :) PM or e-mail me if you want a postcard, and I'll be happy to oblige!
zubeneschamali: (impala)
The last two days were a whirlwind of teach class-drive-drive-drive-do fieldwork interviews-visit friend-do more interviews-drive-drive-drive-prepare class at midnight. Ugh. This week sucks.

But. I saw two things in southern Wisconsin that made me LOL.

1) At the exit sign for Edgerton, WI (crossover alert!), there was a sign for the Winchester Family Restaurant. I want this fic. Now, please. Kthxbai.

2) Apparently in Madison there's a health care provider called Dean Health System. Let me guess: whiskey, a sterilized needle, and black thread?
zubeneschamali: (brisbane)
When we last left our intrepid traveler, she was flying to meet up with her husband in Brisbane in a passionate airport embrace. No, actually, she was going to the hotel on Monday night and when he arrived on Tuesday at 6 A.M., he was getting to the hotel by himself, because she was tired.

Read more... )
zubeneschamali: (mdw)
At least physically. Jet lag is ensuring that I'm not entirely mentally here. The first night back after the 28-hour journey, I slept eight hours (with a three-hour gap in the middle); the next night, 3.5 hours; then 10 hours (woo-hoo!); and last night 4 hours. Argh. The clock gets to 2 A.M. and I think, "Huh, maybe I should go to bed. But I'm not tired!" And then I wake up before 6 anyway.

But the trip itself was so, so awesome. The weather was lovely (even a bit chilly at night), we went on some long and short hikes that were magnificent, driving on the other side of the road went great, and in some ways it was like the honeymoon Mr. Z and I never got to have. :)

Pics and such below the cut )
zubeneschamali: (baseball)
The first Major League baseball game I can remember going to, I was nine years old. We went to a White Sox game every year--my school district had a deal where straight A's got you discount tickets, and even though my dad's allegiance to the Cubs was stronger than my Mom's allegiance to the White Sox, their mutual desire to avoid driving through city traffic all the way to the North Side was greater. That year, my favorite aunt came down from Michigan when the Detroit Tigers were in town, and I was so excited to go to a game at Comiskey with her.

Turns out, it was the day Jack Morris pitched a no-hitter for the Tigers. At the time, I couldn't appreciate the historic importance of seeing a game like that one; I was just mad that my team was on the losing side, and spectacularly so.

Well, this weekend I got the opportunity to see if it stung less as a grown-up.

Read more... )
zubeneschamali: (jensenhappy)
Okay, who on my f'list is going to the Chicago con Oct. 8-10?  Because I am!  Wheee!!!!

I only bought a ticket for Sunday, but I'll probably come up Friday night and stay till Sunday evening.  If you're going to be there, I'd love to figure out a time to meet up...
zubeneschamali: (impala)
So way back in March, I went to Vancouver and spent a day being driven around by the lovely [livejournal.com profile] alaidh , who not only has a great memory and a great eye for locations that have been in SPN episodes, but a great deal of patience for me, who was all, "I don't know what I want to see...just show me something!"  Because I know some of you are going to Vancouver next week, for which I am insanely jealous, here's some shots of the places we saw (one point per place you recognize before reading the caption):

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zubeneschamali: (numb3rs)
Yesterday I saw the following bumper sticker on the back of a car parked at the rest area at the Wisconsin state line on I-90 (main route for Chicagoans heading to the vacation spots of Wisconsin): "We all use math every day."  :D
zubeneschamali: (baseball)
This post is first of all to celebrate my first-ever root canal finally being done.  After three tries spanning six months.  It wasn't painful, just uncomfortable to have my mouth propped open that long.  But yay, it's done and now I can veg the rest of the night.

I also wanted to post pics of my weekend, which included one of the coolest ballpark trips ever.  See, my dad and I started this thing a few years ago where we go to a different baseball stadium every summer.  We've been to Wrigley on the North Side and both old and new Comiskey/whatever-the-hell-it's-called-this-week on the South Side; RFK Stadium and the new Nationals Stadium in DC; old Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and Philly; new Detroit; Boston, Toronto, Minnesota, Denver, both L.A.s, and San Diego.  This year, it was Cleveland's turn.  (I guess it had to happen some time.  (No offense to anyone from Cleveland.))

The cool thing was that Cleveland was doing a 1920s Throwback Night, which meant the uniforms, the music, the graphics, were all 1920s.  (Or slightly later, as my dad kept pointing out with the music.)   I've never seen "Huzzah!" on a ballpark scoreboard before.

Pictures below the cut... )

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