exsequar: (Default)
So one of my New Year's resolutions is to try to reconnect with LJ. I'll probably fail miserably, but I genuinely miss both the community and the amazing record of my life LJ was for such a long time, so I'd really like to get back into the swing of it. Twitter is a serious hindrance, and I have a whole other social life there, but I'm going to try my hardest. If you DO have Twitter though, please do follow me - I'm exsequar there too and always reachable. :) It's not at all about soccer/football anymore, I made a separate account, so if you're worried about that, please don't be! I'd love to talk to you. ♥

Starting small, I'm just going to make a Life post about my week and stuff! So on Tuesday I completed a reasonably large hurdle of my PhD program - the second year seminar. It's kind of a warm up for our candidacy exams but felt pretty huge on its own. Basically I had to make a 20 minute presentation on my research, presenting to people outside of my lab for the first time. This meant that I had to very clearly introduce the material for people unfamiliar with my field, present and justify my hypothesis, and present what data I have that supports that hypothesis before, as well as providing a coherent plan for my research moving forwards. I also felt I had to be very very comfortable with the literature because I could get ANY questions afterward. What this basically meant was that I spent 4 days with my family for Christmas, then immediately began spending 10-12 hours in lab every day, reading papers and putting together my presentation, as well as getting that last crucial piece of data. I bought a lot of frozen food and essentially lived in my lab. But it paid off, because my presentation went great! My actual slides ended up really pretty - including a model I built from scratch using Adobe Illustrator because all the old ones my lab uses are so ugly - and my labmates and boss helped me construct a clear, coherent narrative so it felt fluent and comfortable. Then I got a really great set of questions and was able to easily answer them all, with bonus references to the literature because I had spent all that time reading! I got lots of positive feedback afterward, and my dad even got to see it and was very proud. I'm so relieved to have it done, but I'm also really proud of how well it went. It was the first time I felt maybe I could really do this thing - that is, be a grownup. Not necessarily a scientist, but a grownup. It's a step in the right direction. ;)

I then spent the rest of this week turning that presentation into a poster to give at a conference this weekend in Chicago! It's a very busy week, yes it is. It's the same conference that I went to last year and I really enjoyed it then, so I'm happy to be going again, I look forward to it. I also get to meet up with some darling fangirls tomorrow night so I'm excited. :D After all of this whirlwind, then it's just back to the normal grindstone of lab research. Doing all of this work on making my project clear to others has made it clearer to ME too though, so I hope that I'll feel a bit more confident in my research as I move forwards.

Also super exciting is THE BUNDESLIGA STARTS BACK UP TOMORROW!!!!! *giddy wriggling* That's the German football league for the majority of you out there who are totally lost. :P It's been on hiatus since before Christmas and I have been DYING of boredom. I mean, it was good timing because I wouldn't have been half as focused on my work if it hadn't been on break, but now it's coming BACK and I couldn't be more excited. :DDD I get my beautiful baby Lewis and my badass Basti and hopefully both Mainz and Bayern kicking ass and taking names. I can't help it, I love Mainz, sorry to my Bayern girls out there. At this point I just want both of them to do really well. It's kind of inevitable that Bayern will end up in at least second, so I don't feel bad for rooting for Mainz to do the best they very can. At this point I would like to register a prediction for the end of the season, and we'll see how far off I am: Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen, Schalke 05, Mainz. That would put Mainz in the Europa League next year, which would be a fantastic achievement for my little baby club. ♥ (And little Lewis has been hinting that he'd like to stay in Mainz for another year... oh please please pleeeease let it happen, football gods!)

In hilarious fandom-sports related news (yes that was a totally valid segue), Johnny Weir is coming to my Borders for a book signing. Lol. Lololol. I'm tempted to go just for the lolz but I should really be at work at that time, so I probably won't. Oh Johnny. Maybe I'll feel the force of his sparkling from my lab.

Speaking of sparkling, OMG THIS T-SHIRT. Dear My Chemical Cupcakes, ILU. (Danger Days is still, like, the best album ever. Well, after Three Cheers. But OMG SO GOOD.)

Last night I saw I Love You Phillip Morris!! I've been wanting to see this ever since I heard it was being made like three years ago. EWAN MCGREGOR!!!!! Ugh, he was so precious and wonderful, all blonde and earnest and Texan and sweet and I WANTED TO PUT HIM IN MY POCKET. I mean, Jim Carrey was great too, and it was a really good film, funny and weird and poignant and tragic. I enjoyed it a whole lot. But mostly EWAN!!! I now want to watch every single film he's done again. Yes even The Pillow Book. Ewannnnnnn. I miss him. *draws pink sparkly hearts*

I should probably pack for Chicago.... so I'll leave you with that. It felt really good to write an LJ post again, I'm not gonna lie, so hopefully I'll start being able to keep it up. Tell me what's up with you, darlings!
Music:: Glee Cast - Hey, Soul Sister (Glee Cast Version) | Powered by Last.fm
Mood:: 'cold' cold
exsequar: ([MCR] DANGER DAYS in Deutschland)
Thanks to soccer, no weekend is ever boring anymore! It gives life an odd sense of urgency and electricity all the time. I know I can't keep up this level of emotional investment forever (especially not when I have to focus on my PhD...) but for now, it's tons of fun, especially as my personal life isn't exactly thrilling.

First came the usual whirlwind of Saturday Bundesliga matches - 6 games ALL AT ONCE. This Saturday, there were TWENTY-SIX GOALS in said six matches - I love this league! The match I was invested in, Mainz-Gladbach, was a thriller with the teams taking turns scoring goals and Mainz emerging victorious in the last minutes with a scoreline of 3-2. Mainz's Sami Allagui was a revelation, scoring two miraculous goals as a sub, and Lewis Holtby continued to be the perfect human being. (I'm legit in love with him, it's a little scary, haha.) André got a beautiful goal as well. It was a REALLY REALLY exciting game and probably my favorite of the Bundesliga season so far! I was so happy to see my Mainz bbs return to winning ways after a full month of Bundesliga misery, and their celebrations were as youthful and full of joy as ever. The most adorable bit was when Lewis ran over to the barrier and HIS MOM HAULED HIM UP FOR A CONGRATULATORY KISS. sdlkfsjldfkjs I think my heart exploded a little with joy. :')

Sadly, in contrast, Bayern produced a disappointing draw with Bayer Leverkusen. I only caught the first 20 minutes, during which Bayern's only goal was scored and my Basti was a total hero ♥, but I hear in the second half it went rather downhill, and the final score was 1-1. Really not helping your title defense, honeys. Le sigh. (I have entered a state of emotional self-preservation, wherein losses or draws are no longer crushing, but instead causes for shrugs and sighs, while wins are the pleasant surprises. I'm more functional that way.) Most notable things about this match: Basti shaved off all his hair and looks like a different person, he wore a jersey with the sponsor logo printed upside down for half the match, AND he groped Thomas Müller in the crotch TWICE during a goal celebration. AHAHAHA OKAY BASTI. Never a dull moment with my boy. ♥

But the BEST part of my soccer weekend was seeing a match in person!! My Michigan boys, as you might recall, got into the NCAA tournament by WINNING the Big Ten title, so they hosted a second round game and of course I went to it! My daddy and my roomie came too and we had such a great time. It was overcast but not too cold, perfect soccer-viewing weather. We were playing University of Central Florida, so of course they didn't even own long sleeved jerseys and were all in gloves, awww. It was a super duper thrilling and anxiety-attack inducing match, the WHOLE TIME! UCF is ridiculously good at defense, while Michigan is very strong on offense, so it was a never ending clash of these two powers. The numbers tell the story - Michigan had 31 shots and 13 shots on goal, while UCF only had something like 5 shots in the whole game. Nevertheless, UCF scored first, very early on, and it took until halfway through the second half for Michigan to equalize, on the most gorgeous assist and finish at the top of the box that I had a perfect view for. The stadium EXPLODED, it was such an amazing feeling! Then we finished regulation with a 1-1 tie and had to go into sudden death overtime, and after only four minutes Michigan WON!!!!! I screamed and jumped and it was just generally the most fantastic feeling in the whole world! I think I understand why people are sports fans now. :D It was so wonderful to be in a stadium filled to bursting, watching a team I adore do what it's best at. Now Michigan moves on to the NCAA third round to face 7th seeded South Carolina, a daunting matchup to say the least! I really really hope they win and move onto the Elite Eight! *crosses fingers*

Peeektures! Lewis and Basti and Michigan celebratory crowdsurfing! )

In non-soccer news (gasp!), DANGER DAYS CAME OUT TODAY!!!!! *does a happy dance* The iTunes LP is AWESOME, rich and creative and enormous. I love this band so much. :') But the best part is that I finally gave the album to my dad (who loves Three Cheers but really doesn't like Black Parade) since he's coming to see them with me in December, and he emailed me specifically to say HE LOVES IT! IT'S KICKING HIS ASS!! I am so happy and proud, oh my goodness. Now I'm looking forward to the show even MORE, because I know my dad will love the experience too. :DD And I also have tickets to see them in Cleveland in April with [livejournal.com profile] angel726! AHHHH I AM SO EXCITED AND I LOVE THIS BAND SO MUCH. I've literally listened to nothing except this album for the past five days, lmao. Ugh so many hearts! ♥_____♥ My favorite song has become Save Yourself, it's just so gorgeous. But I love the WHOLE ALBUM. *happy sigh*

That's all for now! Toodles!
exsequar: ([WorldCup] Hug monster attack!)
posted by [personal profile] exsequar at 08:31pm on 14/11/2010 under , , , , ,
MICHIGAN MEN'S SOCCER ARE THE 2010 BIG TEN CHAMPIONS!!!


That's the Saad brothers in front! They are SO HAPPY about each other's existence, oh my goodness. ♥___♥

I tear up every time I think about how happy they were. SO MUCH HAPPINESS. I watched the game on TV with my dad, uncle, and roomie Emily, and what a game it was!! Michigan absolutely burst out of the gate with an early Soony Saad goal (who else?!), Justin Meram struck twice in the first half with absolutely gorgeous goals, and Hamoody Saad nailed a penalty near the end to seal a 4-1 victory. That's the highest scoreline EVER in a Big Ten final! Glorious soccer, all around, and I COULD NOT BE MORE PROUD. The soccer program here is only 11 years old, and the same man who started it, Steve Burns, is still their coach, so this is just the most fantastic reward for all his years of hard work.

ALL HAIL TO THE VICTORS VALIANT! :D :D :D

It's so amazing that the one sport I decided to follow at my new Big Ten school goes ahead and wins their conference immediately. Hahaha. Fantastic. ♥ I just wish I had seen more games this season! I will see ALL THE GAMES next season to make up for it. \o/

ONTO THE NCAA TOURNEY! I hope they do really well!

And just to cap off all the amazingness, I have just discovered that tomorrow the team will be at a pub watching the NCAA draw on TV, and FANS ARE INVITED TO HANG OUT. Um. Ummmm. You guys, this is like getting into a brand new TV fandom and suddenly discovering you can go hang out with the cast. WHAT IS BREATHING OMG. I'm obviously going to go because I would KICK myself if I didn't, but I'm terrified that I'll be super duper awkward. It's a bunch of undergrad boys! I am not an undergrad boy! IDK IDK. But I really hope to get to chat with Soony Saad, he seems like such a lovely guy and he's just so talented and I want to ask him about how he started following Liverpool and sdkjljskdf I'M REALLY EXCITED OKAY.

Also this weekend, Bayern finally won decisively, my roomie had a fun birthday party last night, and I got no work done! All in all it was delightful times!
Mood:: 'proud' proud
exsequar: ([Ger] Basti old soul)
This is my 2,501st post! Yay! *throws confetti* My my, I've certainly had a lot to say, haven't I? Not recently as much, sadly, but LJ has been such a hugely important part of my life for the last 6 years or so. I'm so glad I found it and all of you. ♥

Life things! My daddy has now moved to Ann Arbor and it's so wonderful to have him around. He's moved into his brother's house because he couldn't afford to keep his house in Connecticut anymore. It's unfortunate, and he's sad he had to leave my sister (who's in high school and living with my mom), but he's always loved Ann Arbor and so much more of his family (his two siblings, his nieces and nephews, me!) are here and I think it's going to ultimately make him happier. He already got a good offer on his house back in CT and the inspection process is underway, so fingers crossed that that all goes smoothly! An offer this soon was definitely not expected in this economy, so I hope so much it works out. I recruited some friends to help him move furniture in and stuff, so that was fun, and since then we've just been hanging out now and then, and it's really, really nice. My daddy is my favorite person in the whole world, so having him around is like having a best friend nearby again (something I've felt sorely lacking ever since Francisco moved away). Yesterday we went for a wonderful walk/hike through the UMich arboretum - it was the most perfect fall day, 60s and sunny, and we had a lovely time. Then he made his delicious stew for dinner and ohhh I have missed my daddy's home cooking! It was a really great day.

Another great thing about yesterday is I finally got my bike!! My dad brought my old high school bike out with him and so now I finally have it, so I bought a helmet and a lock and lights and I am all ready to go! I hopped on it for a quick spin yesterday and it felt so right - I didn't realize how much I had missed it! Biking is so much more fun than running to me - I love speed! I'm going to be biking to and from work from now on (almost 1 mile each way) and tonight I took it out for a little while. I came back sweaty and noodle legged but it was so great, I really loved it. Hopefully I can make that a regular part of my life. :D

Moar life thoughts and such. )

So that's my life right now! I figured it was time for an update of some sort.

How are you? ♥
Mood:: 'relieved' relieved

November

SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5 6
 
7
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17 18
 
19 20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27 28
 
29
 
30