Cat Lady · Ramblings

Graffiti Tagging

Maybe I’m late to the party on this one, but spray paint is fun. I have a white bathroom trash can that I’d been planning to replace because it’s boring, but then I decided I could spray paint the inside of it for some contrast. I need to buy some paints and brushes too… I think there’s potential for more elaborate designs on the sides.

Anyway. I haven’t gotten to my bathroom just yet. After several months of having a dilapidated kitchen trash can where the lid latch broke, I finally bought a new one that uses a foot pedal. It was beautiful, pristine white plastic. And then I looked at the smooth white top of it and immediately thought to myself, “yep, I’m painting the shit out of that.” I grabbed masking tape and created a very original design, and then spray painted away. It takes some getting used to for the paint flow. I probably should have held the can farther away but I was in my bathroom and didn’t properly cover any of the floor so I tried to keep the spray close. After several bursts of paint and evaluating just how saturated I wanted it to look, I waited for the paint to dry. (But I didn’t watch it) Then I peeled off the tape and voila! Awesome new trash can. Except now I kind of wish I wrote out “rubbish” instead. Plenty of white space to play with still, though.

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In other news, if I don’t come home with a second cat any time soon it’ll be a miracle. It’s kitten season and there’s been a constant flow of adorable kittens coming through. They don’t last long though — people adopt them very quickly. I feel worse for the “adult” cats no one wants who hang around longer even though they’re only around 2 years old. I’ve never had a kitten but my personal take is that if you get an adult cat you get to skip the hard stuff. Kittens require a lot of work! Also: incredibly adorable.

Squee!
Squee!
Ramblings · Upstate life

Everything’s Coming Up… Blahp.

This picture just makes me laugh. It was pre-Snow Hole hike two weekends ago. The snow hole is a small cave you discover after trekking 3 miles and melting your face off. There was still ice in there and it was probably a good 20 degree cooler, which was a nice reprieve. It has all kinds of cool engravings and what not, and we met an adorable couple trying to find the oldest possible dates.

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This weekend Jeremy and I went to check out Albany’s first renaissance faire. Mary took me to the NY Renaissance Faire in Tuxedo last year – my first time, but I was hooked almost immediately! We spent all day wandering around and eating great food and enjoying the huzzah-ness of it all.

Well, Albany’s first go at the faire was a very solid first effort. Obviously it was a lot smaller than the big timers. We hung around for a bit though and got to see a few good shows. Mainly, the Vixens En Garde doing a retelling of Hamlet (that’s where my headline comes from… the part where every body dies!). We also got stopped by a man dressed up as a dragon selling ice cream, who felt compelled to give us some “dragon wisdom” and he gave me beads. Shiny things!

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Ousting: the newest ren faire sport. You just go around yelling at people to get out.

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Monkey on fire?!?

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Hilarious ladies making puns and doing Hamlet.

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The faire was at Indian Ladder Farms so we of course had to hang out with the goats and other animals.

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Ramblings · TV and Movies

Short Term 12

GRACE: He ran away again, and then two days later someone found him dead in the bushes.

NATE: What?

GRACE: That is the real ending to the story.

MASON: I don’t like that part.

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Short Term 12 is a great movie, and it does not tread lightly whatsoever on the tough topics. The story is from the viewpoint of Grace, who runs the floor at a group home for troubled teenagers. It’s safe to say I was in tears for at least 70% of the movie. I’d heard about it a while back since John Gallagher Jr. is in it and I’ve followed him via theater stuff for a while. I’d more or less forgotten about it, and I don’t even know if it got released in Albany, but then it popped up on Netflix. It was idly sitting there in my queue when I read this piece about Brie Larson and Shailene Woodley. Granted it’s supposed to be a glowing profile, but I definitely came away from it finding them both a tad insufferable. But every comment still reiterated Brie Larson’s solid acting chops, especially in Short Term 12. I really enjoyed her on Community briefly as Abed’s love interest and now I needed to see if she did disappear into her roles like everyone said.

The quote above comes only 10 minutes into the movie, almost as an afterthought. A postscript to Mason’s long, hilarious story of shitting his pants while following a kid outside the home. It’s clear that there’s only so much these leaders can do to protect and watch the kids. I almost don’t even want to write too much about all of the story lines and thoughts and feelings because they’re still ruminating in my head. It makes sense that we learn Mason and Grace were both damaged foster kids – making them probably the best qualified people to handle and reach those kids. I’ve always been drawn to these kinds of movies, I think because growing up I had the kind of angst that connects with those emotions even if I wasn’t coming from the same kind of situation. I did a huge film analysis including the movie Thirteen (and apparently Larson was up for Evan Rachel Wood’s part) and some other teen angst film in high school.  Those emotions are so real and facing them is how you grow as a person, which I think I had trouble doing = hence the movie watching as a guide. Maybe I just like dark things.

Marcus’s story might be my favorite because the turns keep coming that you don’t necessarily expect. It sounds trite to say the movie subverts expectations, but they handle the balance of telling this story without making any of the kids seem like cliches. Marcus is angry, he’s hot headed, and he’s about to be forced into the real world now that he’s 18. That scene above (see the full gif moment here) is absolutely heartbreaking. It makes the ending drama and sort of in-story epilogue that much more triumphant. Same with Brie Larson’s Grace… as a viewer you basically earn the discovery of what’s going on with her. It’s not obvious, but as time goes on you realize whatever it is is a big big thing. As with a lot of indie films, I feel like sometimes the dialogue is lacking, but at the same time this does a great job at showing versus telling. When the emotion is so charged it’s almost better. Even in my own life I sometimes feel like I overcompensate by being more verbose than taking in a moment or feeling through an emotion. It’s so easy to deflect. Watching movies like this remind me to do that more. To just lay down on the floor and think. Calm down. Figure shit out. Because like always, it’ll start all over again, and you have to be prepared to tackle what life throws at you.

 

Ramblings · Upstate life

Adventures Near and Far

It’s been a while. Let’s just gloss over that. Life lately has been busy, and crazy, and all that.

Visiting my college best Christine in Boston (and almost dying driving around there. but worth it.) We have an Oregon reunion to plan in the fall. I CAN’T WAIT.

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Yes we are weird.photo 1

Discovering the local gorge in Troy.

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Chic overnight bag style.photo 1

To visit this cute guy down in NYC for some fun shenanigans.

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Bumming about in my Gumby best.

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I’m currently working my way through a (hopefully) short lived head cold. The heat and humidity just kind of crept in and I’m not ready. I don’t really do AC but I don’t have all the window fans out yet. I think one of my windows still has plastic on it too. Whoops.

Ramblings · Upstate life

Conquering Mountains

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It has been a crazy past few days! The adventure began on Friday when Jeremy and I drove downstate to camp with his sister and her girlfriend. We were all gathered to cheer on Jeremy during his 2nd 50 mile ultra marathon race – the Northface Endurance Challenge. We had a verrrryyy early morning to get started (2am!) and there was a comedy of errors to get started, of course. (Dead car battery, deer on the roads, pot holes, etc.)

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The area was gorgeous and had a great energy about it. After sending Jeremy off at the 5am start time, I went to charge my phone at the hotel on the field. I had the pleasure of eavesdropping on a bridal party pissed about the loud noise the morning of their wedding – which is hilarious, and also insane to think the hotel would book a wedding knowing there’s a HUGE weekend of races happening, from 50 miles to 5k.  Anyway. Next I got picked up by Jeremy’s sister and gf and we headed to the 8 mile check point. I’m not the most organized or prepared person in life, so rest assured I did a hilariously bad job on crewing. Not really, but there was a lot of “did you bring this?” and my response being “… crap!” But I had water and sandwiches, which were top priority.

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After leaving him to continue on with some new runner friends along the course, the ladies and I hung out at the camp site and ended napping a bit. I got a call early from Jeremy who decided to drop out of the race. The course was more technical than he planned and he figured stopping early while he was hurting but uninjured was the right call. The days of rain before the race didn’t help, and even some of the most extreme runners fell out of the race due to injury or whatnot. Some dude broke his freaking femur! So I’m glad Jeremy made it out in one piece. We headed back to the start/finish to meet him and took advantage of the free goodies, beer, and food.

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He’s still a winner to me!

Remember when I said I was a terribly unorganized person? I had been so busy at least trying to be on top of everything for Jeremy I neglected myself, and pretty much didn’t drink any water that day. Don’t worry though, I had two beers! And got sun burned! What I’m saying is that after the race and revelry and the drive back to Troy, Jeremy and I were both pretty dilapidated. I was pretty sure I was dying (dehydrated) and he was limping about slowly. We chugged water, napped, woke up to make waffles, and went back to bed until morning.

Smart choices.
Smart choices.

Sunday was a fabulous day of replenishing calories, and yes I participated all the same as if I had also run for 5 hours the day before. Sushi, pastries, and renting DVDs at the library. A post for another day, but damn I’m so excited to have a library card again after several years. Free books and movies! Huzzah! </nerdout>

Outside of the technical difficulty of the mountains Jeremy is still in great shape! We joked he should run a marathon this weekend just because. The more realistic idea is that we’re going to go hike an Adirondack mountain instead. I will never be a trail runner, because that’s like signing up to fall on my face and break a bone, but I love to hike. As I’m getting back into running, I think a detour to conquer a mountain on a beautiful weekend sounds like a good recovery plan.

Cat Lady · Daily Duds · Ramblings

Oh hey…

I’m still recovering from a busy (and super fun!) weekend away in Amherst. We get Friday off in my office for Easter and I’m so excited to do some relaxing. As a textbook introvert, I need so much time to recharge after being really active.

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On an exciting note, I’m going to my first shift volunteering with kitties at a Petsmart through the humane society tonight! I’ve only worked in shelters before, so it should be interesting in a much more customer-facing situation. Also, kitties. 

Daily Duds · Ramblings · Running

Running Again

Remember that time I ran a 10k last summer? Then decided to train for a half marathon I never did because I got injured? Yeah, me too. I kept up a low level of fitness over the winter and maybe a month or so ago I just decided to sign up for a 5 mile race. It’s not a 10k, and I can do at least 3 miles, so OBVIOUSLY I can do 5… right? So it’s fair to say I did not think this through. However in the week leading up to the race I had an epiphany about the Achilles tendon pain I’d been having — I realized the cause was being just a bit too short for my chair at work. I’m a fidgety person in general, and I think I got a new/different chair sometime last summer, which may have resulted in a difference that was just enough to cause my tendon to be out of whack. I bought a foot rest and that whole week everything started to feel better.

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I was lucky that on race day Jeremy decided to pace with me since he had done almost 20 miles on trails (and fought a bear) the day before. It was a ton of fun, despite being a bit chilly, and we got cool race shirts. Post race this morning, after completing the 5 miles at a respectable 11 minute pace, I feel sore but not debilitated. Hooray! I won’t start raising my expectations too much for my fitness, but I’d say another 10k race might be in my future in another month or two.

Today’s outfit is nothing special. After getting sushi post race and feeling really great (too great), everything started to catch up with me. I napped on my futon and then went to hang out while Jeremy and Corey made beer. A few hours later (barely 6pm) I was mostly asleep on my feet and decided to head home while I could still make it. A hazy evening and verrrryyy early bedtime still left me kind of out of it this morning. One day I want to be at the level where even 10 (okay, maybe 8) miles wouldn’t leave me destroyed for days. But for now, baby steps.

Ramblings

Sunrise…

Singing In The Heights:

No outfit today. Enjoy a lovely sunrise picture. And some thoughts from Ron Swanson AKA Nick Offerman AKA the person I kind of want to grow up to be.

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“With all of the visual distraction constantly inundating us in the form of our devices and screens, I really derive a great deal of pleasure from watching the sun rise and set, admiring clouds as they change shape across the sky, watching tree leaves and blossoms undulate in the breeze….these treats foment an ocular-cleansing refreshment to my way of thinking.”

Daily Duds · Ramblings

Forcing My Hand

So you could call today a bad hair day… but I’ve been digging my heels in on getting a haircut for a while now, and this picture was the clincher. My hair is just too long and unstyled, and it desperately needs to be cut. Literally right after I looked at the pictures at work I made a hair appointment for this afternoon. I love doing random and major changes to my hair, but I need to get a cut that requires virtually no work. That means I need to maintain a decent cut so I can wash it, let it dry and call it a day. Anyway. Tomorrow will hopefully show something new!

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Daily Duds · Ramblings

That’s More Like It

Today has that special kind of feel in the air. It’s still cold, but crisp and against the bright sun in the morning. For whatever reason, it just brings me a feeling of being ready to conquer the world. Maybe it’s just the optimal temperature. Anyway.

If you like reading great introspective and inspirational articles on creative people, you should probably check out The Great Discontent. I don’t always identify with their more artistically focused subject — I love drawing comics, but c’mon, I am not an artist in that way. However today they posted an interview with Austin Kleon, who is someone that has walked the line of art and writing in a way I can really relate to. Maybe it’s unfair, but I think the interviews with people who have a writing background and rely on writing at least a little in their work are more interesting. I mean, that’s how they work, so their insights are going to be better than those who communicate strictly through art and music. At least that’s the impression I’ve gotten sometimes through the profiles I enjoy and the ones I don’t.

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As for today’s outfit, it’s nothing special. It does feels nice to not feel like I NEED to wear boots right now. Hell, I can even park my car actually next to the curb on my block now that the ice/snow has melted!

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