A Stalled Work In Progress

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I am a big fan of projects. To-do lists all over the place. Schedules for morning productivity.

'die flimsy paper, die!'

Die flimsy paper, die!

When I get rolling on an idea and have time to feed the momentum, things tend to go well. I was able to pin up all the parts of my bathrobe in one night, and cut out all the necessary pieces.

STOP SEWING LOOK AT ME

STOP SEWING LOOK AT ME

A few day passed but I will still able to make progress sewing the major pieces together. Side seams, back seams, sleeves, etc.

I have wings!

I have wings! 

But now I have to add the collar. Lapel? Whatever it is, I haven’t gotten to it yet. I’ll need to have some extra care for the corner I’m cutting by not using interfacing. (And I, uh, don’t own an iron so that takes extra flattening work.)

Based on the pictures you see here, I also may take in the sizing once I’m all done. I know bathrobes are supposed to be bigger than usual, but I think this robe could stand to be more fitted to me. We’ll see.

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Well, I’ll check back in… soon?

Upping My Coffee Game

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I’ve written about my pretty solid coffee habit before, and last summer I explored using a cold brew maker last summer. (Will it ever be warm enough again to bring it out again? Probably not.)

My dad has been getting into roasting his own coffee beans since retiring, and he’s long been someone who used a coffee grinder. He even went so far as to order me coffee specially ground for my french press. It really did taste much better. I know ultimately grinding your own beans tastes the best. But I’m just lazy/late/tired, etc. in the morning.

So what do I decide to do? I buy a hand grinder of course.

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I read about “the best” burr coffee grinders on Lifehacker recently. This hand grinder was both cheap ($30) and reportedly better than others because it uses a ceramic burr, so there’s no metal taste to the coffee. I actually think it’s the same brand as my cold brew maker.

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The results have been rather tasty. I still have to stick to my 4 scoops to one 12oz coffee recipe (the rules are LIES), but the flavor is great and it’s a little less silty than my normal coffee.

I read a review that states it takes “about 30 seconds” per cup to grind. Yea… about that. It takes me several minutes. I think I pulled a muscle in my back the second day using it.

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But still! 10 seconds at a time, right? (Hashbrown, no filter. Yes I’m obsessed with Kimmy Schmidt.) Eventually this coffee grinding thing should lead to some serious guns. It’s easy strength training! Next step is trying out some fancier beans. I bought the only beans I could find at Price Chopper to start, but now I’ll have to see what else is out there.

Hits and Skype-ing with David Cross

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Last Thursday I went to see a one-night only event at the Spectrum theater in Albany. This event was for a showing of Hits, a movie written and directed by David Cross (of Mr. Show and Arrested Development fame). I knew nothing of the original Kickstarter, and I first heard about this movie on my beloved Harmontown podcast. David Cross was a guest and I was so excited about that in its own right to absorb most of the talk about his movie. I’ll admit I remained uninterested outside of laughing the jokes about Hits being the first legit movie released on BitTorrent. I mean, Dan Harmon rapped and David Cross sang along, so I was clearly focused on the important things.

A week later maybe I saw a post from All Over Albany about the movie showing at the Spectrum. I got excited, as I do when awesome things show up in the Capital Region. Once I watched the trailer I knew it was a movie I wanted to see. Next thing I know I see David Cross’s name pop up on my latest Comedy Bang Bang podcast episode (he was working it for this movie, obviously). As I listened to that podcast, I was reminded about the “pay what you want” feature, and got to enjoy Hits stars Matt Walsh and James Adomian yuck it up. Worried tickets would sell out, I grabbed a few the weekend before and made plans to arrive at the theater early enough to get good seats.

Movie events in general have a great energy to them. Last year (I think?) I went to a showing of The Big Lebowski at Proctors where they sold white russians and gave away random movie posters. It had a great community feeling to it. Things were a bit similar at the Spectrum, however with a heavy dose of exceedingly hip looking people in the mix instead of dudes in robes.

Hits itself was a solid movie. I laughed a lot, more than I thought I would, and enjoyed the whole experience. We were treated to a recorded intro from Cross cut together with random bits. The pace really kept things movie and it was SO funny, if a bit awkward and dark. Some especially sharp jabs were targeted to the NYC-savvy. (“We’re a collective out of Williamsburg.” “We’re out of Bushwick.”) I can see how some reviewers felt the package overall didn’t deliver, but knowing David Cross’s stand up a bit and his position on people who are famous for being famous (and his comments on The Simple Life), it all made sense.

I really loved the ending “twist” and absurdity of it all. It ended on a solid note, if a little frustrating. But that’s how the world is in the end, like when I try to explain to people the sharp commentary Anchorman 2 made about CNN and the dumbing down of news in America. But most people are like, ‘meh, not that funny.’ And Hits makes a solid point that people LOVE to bandwagon ideas or people or concepts rather than learn about the actual details of a plan or about who a person is (KONY2012 anyone?).

David Cross Spectrum

Maybe the biggest excitement of all was getting to experience a Skype session with David Cross after the film. I don’t know how to details were worked out, but he agreed to Skype in to chat after the movie and answer questions. One ticket seller told me it was one of a few theaters getting that perk. He answered questions for about 20 minutes, with only one or two painfully awkward moments or technical difficulties. It was such a cool event, and I’m really glad I went.

Is it Spring yet?

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Look, I get it, I chose to live on the East Coast. Snow happens. Cold happens. I can even have fun with it.

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BUT. We’re so close to a new season (okay not really but let me pretend) and I just want it so badly. It’s not Boston levels of snow, but this snow can now suck it. Also my parents who separately emailed me to tell me about the 80 degree heatwave out west (JK I love them).

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I moved away from this place at 18. WILLINGLY.

I want to run outside and not worry about falling to my death on ice. I would like to sit in the actual sun instead of sitting in my bathroom where the heat works best and the sun shines brightly so I can pretend it’s the summer.

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JUST LIKE SUNRAYS AMIRITE

It’s the winter mopes. In general life is pretty good. But when 20 degree days are rare magical unicorns, you just want to punch that stupid ground hog into giving you spring sooner. Right?

The Susie Q Memorial Half Marathon

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We came, we ran, we died.

It’s pretty cool having a race named after you. It’s even cooler to have a race name after you in antemortem anticipation. I’m not sure on the right phrasing. But rest assured we had a lot of theories on when and how this race would earn it’s “memorial” title.

You see, when I started my new job back in August, I realized I was going to have a lot more free time to fit in running. Since October I’ve been following a beginner training plan for a half marathon. My initial plan was to complete the training plan as best I could (with room for exceptions like travel and being sick), and then basically keep going and/or start over until I could run a race in the spring. Best laid plans, and all that, you know how that goes…

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One of my Christmas presents from Jeremy was a half marathon race in my honor. And how can you not love that?! Jeremy decided we should celebrate the first time I reached that 13.1 milestone with a semi-certified race. We all had bibs and everything! It was very (semi) official.

Crazy mofos

Crazy mofos

While we considered the snow and the potential cold (IT WAS REALLY COLD), we didn’t really consider just how much of the Mohawk Hudson bike path would not be plowed. And how none of us had really trained for snow. I’d say somewhere around 10 of the miles we ran were in snow.

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It turned into a trail race kind of adventure instead of a PR/race time event. Jeremy is great at cheering me on with Rocky quotes, no matter how much I beg him to stop. (I’ll admit I secretly enjoy it.) We all basically froze almost to death, with no one being able to feel their fingers at the end. I was probably the most hobbled, but we all made it back together. We managed to revive enough back at my apartment to celebrate with some Flying Chicken. And best of all, I won the race! Winner winner, chicken dinner. …I’ll excuse myself now.

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Overall it was a challenging experience but I’m glad we did it. Plus now I can say I’ve run a half marathon distance. Now on to pick a race for the spring…

OMG It’s Like Totally 2015!

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Well. Where the hell have I been? It has been a very busy couple of months. Busy in the sense of weddings, parties, trips on the weekends, and busy in the sense of doing so much at the office during the day that I don’t dare approach my computer when I get home. Busy in the sense of lazy, wherein my desktop computer bit the dust (in a fixable way, but you lug that giant 27″ iMac to the Apple store at the mall during holiday season!!), so I just made it work with the devices I had. Anyway. I’m currently writing from my wonderful, but holy-crap-I-just-spent-a-ton-of-money new macbook pro. It’s so pretty and fast and compact and I love it. Eventually I’ll get a monitor too for big screen TV and movie viewing. (The iMac will be fixed then sold for parts once I get around to taking care of it. My only 2015 resolution! ha) But for now it’s nice to have a normal working computer.

Anyway. Lets look at pictures. I’m not fully ready to blog again but here I am. So where was I?

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I was wine tasting in my best plaid before Jeremy’s wine glass marathon.

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I was cheering Corey on during his first ever marathon.

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I was getting hassled by an opossum while trying to get into my apartment.

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I was goofing about on Halloween with some lovely fun people.

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I was doing some serious leaf-peeping with my not-so-serious selfie skills. 

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I was turning 28 and celebrated with Bill Murray and another handsome talented man who made me a one-of-a-kind necklace.

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I was in Vegas for a work conference (and met Adam Savage!!)

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I was at the beach in California goofing with the boyfriend over Christmas.

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I was destroying French presses (ridiculous story) while goofing with my bestie and her puppy in Troy for NYE.

Lots of goofing you might say. It’s felt like a crazy time, but I’ll admit I’m enjoying it. Sometimes I wish I had more time to relax at night and do nothing, but I’m spending time with my favorite people and tackling some new goals. You may not have heard, but the First Annual Q Memorial Half Marathon is happening next weekend. Only the cool people are running it. (Also I’m terrified.) I’m working on fighting off a cold so hopefully I can still get some tapering runs in before the big day. Ahh!!

Laborious Labor Day Weekend

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I think we may have done Labor Day both wrong and right.

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Saturday: We climbed a tall mountain (what up Algonquin!)

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While considered one of the harder peaks we did it in about 5 hours.

So cold at the top!

IMG_2671Champion scramblers!! We wouldn’t feel the true pain until the next day.

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What up Lake Placid Beer! Delicious hiking reward.

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Sunday: We discovered mystical forest creatures. Herro friend!

Monday: And we ran long run kinds of miles in 8000% humidity, followed by chicken nuggets followed by moaning and hobbling. (not pictured)

Pretty successful weekend! Other life news has involved lots of exciting new challenges at work (really liking it!), being very busy with all this energy I have not commuting, and being silly all over the place. My handsome gentleman is off gallivanting in Europe now though so I’ll be tackling some books, new TV shows, personal writing projects and new running feats.

Cold Brew

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This summer I decided to get on the cold brew coffee train. I don’t have an A/C and in the hottest days of the summer mornings can be sweaty even without turning on the stove. I looked up ideas online, but everything sounded rather involved. Instead I just put my usual grounds and water in my french press and let it sit overnight. The results were pretty good! The coffee really does come out less acidic and makes for a great cold beverage in the mornings. But! I was discussing this with my dad and he told me about a neat relatively inexpensive cold brew maker.  It’s still a work in progress but I’ve been enjoying some new coffee styles outside my typical dark roast. A medium roast blend turned out really great with this little machine.

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Grinds are in the interior container, slowly pour water to fill

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It was kind of a slow process

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Look at how nice it turned out! And in my fancy mug

The end!

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