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.

Daily Duds · Upstate life

Weekend Duds

This was very much a Monday morning, recovering from an insane weekend, and I was too busy to take a picture. Instead I accidentally pet my cat with makeup still in my palm, so cleaning her up and running out the door took priority. I probably won’t take pics for the rest of the week either since it’s cold and dumb and next week should be nicer. But here I leave you with a picture from the weekend of said insanity. We had a friend’s fundraiser Friday night where things got wild… and then Jeremy didn’t know Saturday would also be crazy as I was planning his surprise birthday party. Even after running 18 miles he managed to rock out and celebrate (and was completely surprised! I thought I had been too obvious haha).

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Ramblings · Upstate life

Home Sweet Home

Welcome to my new home in Troy:

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Well, it has been quite the busy and exciting month since moving into my new Troy apartment. Just as the heat wave was breaking I spent the day (along with the lovely strong BF and friends) moving my belongings and sweating up a storm. And because it’s me, I ended up smashing my hand in a door frame on the last piece of furniture.

It has taken time to clean up the place and get settled. It has also been way more of a pain to get basic utilities set up, as well as an oven that actually works fully. But hey, it’s pretty darn great compared to where I was. My commute is much less headache-inducing and I love having such a large space.

A new couch has been ordered. The kitty has a fancy new cat tree. I have a bedroom that is too large for its own good, and so my next step is to create a sewing corner. For years I’ve been saying I wanted to get a sewing machine and reignite that hobby in my spare time, but I’ve never had the space or the means. Work has been going well (plus a raise, heyooo!) and I’m in a good place to start doing more at home.

Oh Troy, I've missed you and your fun handmade signs.
Oh Troy, I’ve missed you and your fun handmade signs.

The place isn’t perfect, but it feels more like home than any place I’ve lived in a long time. And it’s my home for the next year, and it can only get better.

Ramblings · Upstate life

The Power of Vulnerability

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OK, so the last few days this thought keeps popping into my head: “holy crap, I haven’t blogged in forever.” But that hasn’t led to any revelations. I still don’t know what to write about. I’ve been working on my pipe dream project for 2013, writing something “for” the NYT’s Modern Love column. I know it’s silly to think I have the perspective or the chops to submit something worthy, but I’m pretty much moved by every single one I read so I figured it was an ambitious goal to strive toward. It’s also very rough, off-the-blog type writing.

In other news, I’ve been watching some Ted Talks and just discovered 30 Rock. I know, for shame. I’m not sure where I dropped the ball on that either. I think the first time I tried to get into it was bad timing in my life. I just started watching a few days ago, so you know, I’m at about season 4 right now. And I went out and bought Bossypants. Diving headlong into the new obsession. It’s possible that I’ve been a huge grump lately. Maybe it’s in part because my apartment is now unpredictable noise hell hole and I’m overly anxious. It might also be that I’m in planning mode, which causes equal parts excitement and anxiety. Mostly anxiety.

Rambling is brief, and I’m out…

Ramblings · Upstate life

The week of madness

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Oh Monday, you started out so hopeful and bright. I was smiling on my drive home, enjoying that it was staying light out later. It seemed like it would be a great week.

DUN DUN DUN

Tuesday. A typical work day. I stopped on my way home to finally use the auto car wash for my horrifically dirty car. Apparently in the winter people wait in lines on the weekend to do this? I was laughing to myself about how spooky it felt in the enclosed space with water pouring over my car after dark. I was also jamming out to Bring It On, so it wasn’t that bad.

As I got home and parked my car, I saw a cable truck outside my apartment. There was a guy standing outside that I was ignoring (it’s the NYC in me still, I don’t make eye contact or spout random pleasantries) until he said, “I hope you’re not on that half of the building, there’s no power.” He pointed to the right side of the building. Yup, that was my side. Of course, it turns out the WHOLE BUILDING lost power because of an underground line that just burnt out because it was old. It wasn’t National Grid’s problem and it was already 6pm so I figured I’d be in the dark a while while my landlord hired an electrician for the next day.

First thing: I lit a few candles. This is not an exaggeration at all when I say that no less than 5 minutes later I smelled burning hair and realized my cat singed her tail on a candle. Seriously, this cat is lucky she’s indoors. Not very bright. I threw all my (newly purchased) perishables into my freezer and started texting friends. I met a few people at the bar, got a little drunk, and then came home to entertain my confused cat in the dark. That punk was not amused that I was handicapped by not having night vision. The smoke alarms were beeping their low battery beeps and I was lamenting getting ready in the dark the next morning.

Note: The building still had heat and water so the lack of electricity, while annoying, was not nearly as bad as it could have been.

Wednesday. I discovered candle wax on my bathroom floor. That happens when you wander your home with candles at night. I had no coffee but pulled together all my random perishables and food for lunch and snacks in my bag — I am trying to still be cheap and save money — and headed to work. Again, uneventful day. Except at the end where I try to explain my powerless situation to my boss, since I needed to work from home on Friday but wasn’t sure I would have power. Honestly, I get paid to write and I’d like to think I’m pretty coherent on here, but god help me trying to verbalize my thoughts and explain anything. HILARIOUS DISASTER. Aca-awkward.

I get home to a slew of electricians and continued darkness. Around 7pm the lights came back on. What else came back on? The CO2 / smoke detectors. Every minute brought loud beeps and a mean lady saying “LOW BATTERY.” I tried resetting and unplugging and couldn’t get mine to stop. I tried not to cry and freak out and just decided to take the whole thing apart. After that I began to wind down but after only a day and a half in the dark I had random things thrown about my place and an angry cat who was freed from cowering under my bed because of the scary beeping that wouldn’t stop.

Thursday. Power, it’s such a lovely thing. I was so glad to be able to make my own coffee again. I know, it was only one day, but I like my coffee my way. Cue halfway through my commute where I spill coffee on my face and sweater and coat. I thought I had gotten pretty good at driving and eating and whatever, but apparently not. Once I parked at work I luckily had tissues to wipe the extra coffee residue off my face. The work day was actually a more fun one, with misheard words turning into a conversation about boybands and getting to know my coworkers better in general. It’s too bad none of us live near each other but hopefully some warmer weather happy hours will happen. They’re cool people.

OK, so things have turned around. I got a new battery for my CO2 / smoke detector and it no longer beeps. I officially signed a new 6-month lease for my place. I’m awaiting a friend for dinner and I have some exciting stuff planned for the next week.

Really though, I can’t wait to sleep a ton and get back to normal. I do not like my world getting rocked so much. My apartment is my hidey hole and safe haven! And I am lucky that I get to work from home tomorrow so I can finally get my permit for the new parking rules (whoops…) and I can jam out at home while working on a project that can hurt my brain sometimes.

Ramblings · Upstate life

It’s Gonna Be A Happier New Year

Well here we are — it’s 2013. I’m torn between the idea of doing a sweeping recap or a more specific one, but I’m also pretty hungover still so I can’t be too ambitious. Thinking about where my life was and the state of mind I was in a year ago is mostly laughable. I mean, I had a pretty terrible NYE for 2012, but the rest of the year itself turned out pretty well. In comparison, I rang in 2013 with friends and champagne at a bar and just had a ton of fun.

Side note: Unlike in previous years, I’ll spare you the long ridiculous recap of getting myself back to Albany after going to SoCal for Christmas. But for the record, it was a doozy. I just need to stop traveling in December.

I started 2012 by going through a breakup, moving into a new apartment by myself, and finding a whole new group of friends. I may not have written about it at the time, but I’ll always think it was serendipitous that I met Brigette when I did as it streamlined perfectly into making my year so much better than I could have imagined.

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This year I reclaimed my independence by having fun, being more fearless, and chasing the things I wanted. I stumbled a lot too, falling into some craziness, causing problems for myself, and doubting what I was doing with my life. Given that this year is the first time in my life I’ve ever really “dated” like a normal twenty-something, I learned so much about myself. It’s been fun-slash-challenging and I still get frustrated (both with myself and others), but I continue to believe in trusting your instincts. Plus, ask anyone and they’ll tell you how hard it can be to date in smaller insular city like Albany. That’s why I feel so lucky to have great friends that put up with my bitching and give me hope.

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I made trips downstate to see Mary in New Jersey, both to hang out acting silly at her house all weekend and to go into NYC to have even sillier adventures. I definitely need to visit her even more this year! The crazy Albany summer promises I heard lived up to my expectations, starting with day trip shenanigans at Barberville Falls. There was a lot of stoop action and pool lounging, fireworks (literal and not so much), and a continuation of my clumsiness.

I made an amazing new long distance friend (hi Trisha!) as well as staying in touch with another friend who left me for Boston. And, holy crap, my mom came to visit! I made another huge change by leaving my comfy job in Troy to take a new job in Bennington, VT, to advance my career. I spent the whole month of November writing about what I’m thankful for daily. It was a challenge but also re-sparked my desire to write more. I’m trying to write more off the blog to come up with more unique content and really stretch my skills.

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My goals for the new year are mostly focused around being honest with myself and others about what I want and how I feel. Over time I’ve grown way too accustomed to bending to what everyone else wants in fear of stirring the pot, but that doesn’t make me happy. So I’m planning to continue to work hard at my new job, maintain my friendships, and keep my sanity in check while trying to date. I’m always happiest when there big changes on the table to look forward to and new challenges too.

Ramblings · Travel · Upstate life

Thanks, Day Twenty-Nine

Today, I’m thankful for hard copy photos. I know everything is great with iPhone cameras and digital pictures and giant external drives, but I love being able to still print pictures and maybe make use of them somehow. I started to get into scrapbooking and cataloging pictures at the end of high school, and then I went to great lengths to scrapbook all four years of college. It took two giant albums plus a third for the trips I took outside Oregon. Also, true story, I was still using disposable cameras until partway through my sophomore year of college. (That was also the year I made the leap from Discman to iPod. Yeah, I grew up with techie engineers and I’m the biggest laggard ever.) Anyway, I love printing photos. I fell off the wagon about a year after moving to NYC in terms of scrapbooking and taking pictures. I don’t take photos the same way I used to, outside of the major trips or adventures I’ve gone on in the last few years. Since moving to Albany, I definitely haven’t take enough pictures. And there have been a lot of silly adventures. I like having pictures in frames and making collages. Sure, I also love that I can make a screensaver of all my favorite photos, but there’s something cool (maybe?) about handing someone an album to look through than saying “hey, did you see my Facebook album?” And lets be honest, you’re probably never going to be able to have a gathering where you share exciting new photos or stories like in the past when all your friends have already browsed your photos online and read your status updates or tweets. Oh crap, I’ve gone curmudgeon-y. Pictures are great. I wish I took more. The end.

Oregon State · Ramblings · Upstate life

Thanks, Day Twenty-Six

Sorry, I can’t help how much I love this quote.

Today I’m thankful for Community. And Scrubs. And Arrested Development. And How I Met Your Mother. And Parks and Rec. And Cougar Town (DON’T JUDGE ME). And any other TV show I’ve gotten into over the years. You see, all of these shows are more than just a mild obsession. Well, first of all, they’re huge obsessions. But the other key point is that they developed from friendships or have been a catalyst in a friendship. Community has been my biggest obsession of late (see here), but it all began with Scrubs. Christine lent me the first few seasons on DVD, and that turned into a “I know everything about every episode” obsession, especially when I interned in NYC without cable. It also started my background noise obsession, for better or for worse. Scrubs connected me to my first friend at my first job in NYC, Justin, who then turned me on to HIMYM. That show has let me down more than any other, but it still has a soft spot in my heart. Maren introduced me to Law & Order marathons and House. Arrested Development is thanks to Katie and an ex-boyfriend, which I later shared with future boyfriends and friends. Community was more of an obsession I brought on myself when I was unemployed, but it also later helped me make new friends in Albany. And thanks to social media and TV critic bloggers I can obsess in a little corner on my own — although for the record it is WAY more fun to nerd out over TV with friends. There are so many other shows here and there that I’ve picked up either completely or not (and while The Wire is a big obsession for me, I’ve only watched it once…), but I should stop before this because a really big rambling and reminiscing mess. I’m not in the mood to organize so you see a lot of stream of consciousness self-interrupted. Event that last sentence was a mess. Hey it’s a Monday. It’s been a serious case of the Mondays.

Ramblings · Upstate life

Thanks, Day Eighteen

Today I’m thankful for potlucks. Tonight my friends hosted a sort of pre-Thanksgiving potluck at their apartment, and it was a blast. This year is the first time I’m not traveling anywhere or doing anything for actual Thanksgiving, so I’m glad I had the opportunity to get together with friends and celebrate a little. Then come actual Thanksgiving day I can do whatever I want. And probably video chat with my family.