What’s Up? (10/11/15)

Animal Crossing Returns
One of my favorite games in 2013 was Animal Crossing: New Leaf. From the moment I picked it up in the summer I fell in love with the low stakes, cute, charming game. Turn the game on once a day,  talk to your villagers, decorate your home, and make it rain bells. I played nearly every day for over a year, before I decided to wipe my town “New Deli” off the map. Mayor Sandwich had a good run, but it was time to start a new village. After all, my favorite villager Cyrano moved out during one of my lapses. The town could not go on without Cyrano. Yet every town I created afterwards flopped. I could not get interested in New Leaf ever again, I thought.

And then a week ago one of my best friends got herself a copy of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, as did her friends at school… New Leaf was back, and I had a reason to play again. Mayor Sandwich moved into the town of Ole Deli, and I was right back into my old rhythm. One big difference between 2013 Ken and 2015 Ken: back then I was a night owl, and now I’m more an early bird. Instead of keeping my town’s shops open until 11PM or Midnight, I prefer to have them open around 6 AM-7AM. Animal Crossing: New Leaf is my morning commute game. I run around doing errands in town, and before I know it, I’m at my bus stop. It’s perfect.

Russian Grand Prix
Speaking of perfect, The Russian Grand Prix was on today. I woke up around 6:50 AM and started the NBCSports stream in time to catch a little pre-race news and predictions. Had amaretto flavored coffee, waffles, and potato pancakes for breakfast. Formula One honestly makes for a wonderful morning, when the timing is right. The next race will be in America, so, it’s probably going to be more like a lunchtime race. In any case, with four more races left (America, Mexico, Brazil, and Abu Dhabi I believe), I’m excited for the end of the F1 Season. 2015 is a fine year, better than 2014 in some respects, worse in others, but I want to see 2016 roll around in March and hopefully, with dramatic differences.  If you want to hear my full thoughts on the Russian GP, check out my video review here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3ymtneI-BKr3VM39HzxDgA

Cocktail Party
Finally, I actually finally had a cocktail shindig on (10/3)! I made four Thin Mints, which is a recipe with Creme de Menthe, Cacao, Vodka, and a chocolate cream of your choice. I went with Chocolate Almond Milk since I had vegan guests, but Bailey’s Chocolatini Creamer is also great. Felt so great to make drinks for people, and to serve them in ornamental glasses too, it was just perfect! Looking forward to doing it again.


What’s Up? (9/20/15)

The Singapore Grand Prix brought a great week to a great ending. I woke up, grabbed my laptop, and stayed in bed for a while just watching some absolutely fantastic racing. The top three, Vettel, Ricciardo, and Raikkonen didn’t do much in the way of overtaking, but everything from P4 below was a shifting landscape. Massa and Hulkenberg have an incident, both DNF. Hamilton has a power failure, DNF. Button’s doing well, then has an incident with Maldonado, DNF. Who knows what happened to Alonso but he also did not finish.

So basically, after a poor weekend in Italy, my guy Nico Rosberg catches a break. He’d have liked to have had a podium, I’m sure, but a race where he finishes and Hamilton doesn’t? I think he’ll settle for that. Always great to see Ricciardo up there on the podium, Vettel too. The big story of course, is the man who ended up on the track. The pedestrian seemed drunk, high, or confused, and he brought the race to a halt. Who was he? How did he get there? Why did he go on track? I may never know, but it was fantastic, even if it was terrifying.

No idea what came over me last weekend, but I fell in with an old Manga series close to my heart — even if it had been years since I last read it. I had read 18/38 volumes, and stopped sometime in my first year of college. It is a series that quite frankly, I would be embarrassed to have someone just flip through. It’s full of fan service that I can’t justify. It panders to an audience that I’m not a part of by constantly making its female characters end up in situations where they end up naked for the enjoyment of the reader.

But dammit, I love those characters. I can’t deny that! A lot of the characters are just mixtures of tropes, but they sure are likable. (They’re also bad ass, strong, brave, occasionally immortal, demons, ghosts, and lesbians). I don’t know what my game plan is. I’ve fallen back into this very, very old habit of reading an old series. It’s better than watching TV most of the time.

Finally, it would be impossible to describe how awesome this week has been without mentioning that I’ve found work. Or at the very least, I’ve found work to do! An internship, which begins on Wednesday.  I feel like a great weight has been lifted. The months long job search comes to a months long break, and I’m so excited to get all polo – shirted up again, head into work and learn what this marketing thing is all about. I’m no longer unemployed, as far as I’m concerned. That’s so exciting, and that’s good because I really could not imagine going all of September without work. My bosses seem cool, and I know I love the neighborhood already. So that’s that! I’ve had a grand two weeks since we last spoke.

What’s Up? (11/2/14)

Formula One

US Grand Prix! I had a good time watching the activities this weekend. I watched Practice, Qualifying, and the Race Proper: All three days for the first time. As you know, I’m a die-hard Rosberg fan, so naturally I’m disappointed by his 2nd-place finish today. He could be the 2014 World Champion, but he needs to win these next two races, no excuses. Two things saved my enjoyment of the US Grand Prix: Pastor Maldonado scoring points, and Jean-Eric Vergne driving like a bad-ass. Okay, maybe JEV was driving dangerously but it was damn fun to watch. And Maldonado with the 9th place finish! He was kicked back to 10th with a 5-second penalty, but my goodness. I was cheering for those guys. Vergne, Maldonado, Grosjean Button – it was fun seeing them duke it out for 8th, 9th, 10th. This is a reoccurring trend, wherein the most exciting fights are happening in the middle of the field, and I don’t mind it – as long as the race director lets us watch it!

Dream Journal

I had a dream, and it’s a little embarrassing to talk about but I also think it’s really sweet in a way. I had a dream that somebody who’s not exactly a friend, was on a bed with her girlfriend just cuddling and talking. I was at the foot of the bed, curled up in such a way that I could fit, and I was laying my head down on this girl’s posterior, which was quite large – as it is in real life. Pleasantly, there were no sexual connotations to this. The dream was entirely about the satisfaction of having a conversation with this girl, and being a close enough friend to be allowed to rest my head on her butt, and just enjoying how comfortable that was. It wasn’t a sexy dream, and I’m glad that my subconscious is complex enough to construct such a weird, interesting, layered experience. But like I said up front, it’s also kind of embarrassing: oh well.

I defy you!

Pre-Prix: Singapore

In about five hours I will be waking up to watch the Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit. Honestly, I haven’t been so excited for a Formula One race in quite some time. The last three races in the European leg (Hungary, Belgium, Italy) weren’t my favorites, but these last six races all sound pretty exciting to me. Singapore has a reputation for being a good track; some have been calling it basically, Monaco at night. I’ve played Monaco and Singapore back-to-back, and I can see how the comparison works. Lots of really tight corners, lots of crashes and contacts, and hard overtakes.

In any case, waking up at 8AM to watch Singapore celebrate in all of its neon firework glory is going to be excellent. Something about the European stretch of the Formula One season felt a little boring. The circuits were all kind of just, circuit-y. Just race tracks, you know? The first six tracks, and the last six tracks, are just such a nice little motley crew.

United States
United Arab Emirates

Nico Rosberg lost pole position by .007 seconds, but this is a tight circuit, and if Singapore is truly similar to Monaco, then Nico may have some advantage here. Between the two Mercedes drivers, you know I’m rooting for Nico, but I’d be beyond delighted to see Daniel Ricciardo or Sebastian Vettel take first place. Change is good, and I welcome craziness on the track, as long as everybody’s safe, and as long as Nico stays ahead of Lewis.


Top 10 Reasons I Root for Nico Rosberg


#1 Nico Rosberg makes home-made, healthy Pizzas.


#2 When possible, Nico obviously seeks out the world’s best pizza.


#3 In a Sky News exclusive: What’s the secret to Nico’s Pizza?


#4 Driven by his love of pizza, Nico won the Pizza-wheel trophy in Austria.


#5 The four-week summer break from racing took its toll on Nico, who grew this totally real beard.


#6 The more Nico poses with food, the more I like the guy.


#7 After every race, I’m pretty sure Nico gets a neck massage by both a human and a cat.


#8 Nico did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge right, and in German. I encourage you to watch the video, the German language accurately describes the feeling of being doused in ice water.


#9 After the 2nd place finish at Monza, Nico got some ice cream in Ibiza to make himself feel better!


#10 Nico is just a smart guy. He knows his car really well, and I think he’s maybe one of the best at avoiding tech problems.  Watch him rock the “Professor Nico” outfit. Boom, style.


What’s Up? (8/26/14)

Life has been so different since August 21st, 2014, and I’m so happy for it. As I wished, it appears this last year of college really will be a reward and test of all the lessons I’ve learned since say, Senior year of High School. In short, hell yes I’m totally doing fine and I love how drastically different things have been in Pittsburgh so far. 

I’ve got to watch the Belgium Grand Prix somewhere, since I only saw the last 10 laps an apparently, the first 34 were the ones you want to watch. I’m also dealing with a wicked stuffy nose right now, not fun. I just walked away from the keyboard for 3 minutes sneezing and just feeling miserable. 

I need to get over this now, I have almost three hours of night class and then CWO tonight. I’m rapid-fire sneezing, what the hell? …15 minutes later, blew my nose, sneezes gone. Bitter about allergies. Wondering if I should do my laundry now, though I’d be cutting it close to class. 40 Minutes ago I could have… shit now I’ve got to wait until tomorrow. 

Laundry bums me out so much; so instead lets just remember that we have some cool new things in life, like Japanese Vinyl Records and naked e-hookah sessions. Feminist literature classes and quirky artisan shops. Bike-powered booze-mobiles and new faux-hawk haircuts. Teachers who remember that your hair was longer, and lettuces on Pittsburgh buses for some reason. 

What’s Up? (7/6/14)

My Fourth of July weekend has gone very well. Going all out two nights in a row always makes me feel a little bit like I’ve wasted time when I could have been productive… but on the other hand I totally deserve to have unproductive party time. And while non-productive, sipping on sparkling rum in my backyard with a full view of fireworks certainly has a therapeutic and wholly necessary unwinding effect. The Summer of PSY entered it’s seventh week, and while the attic was short one Xanax Cat, Mario Kart, K-Pop, drink-spillage, and sporadic bursts of singing continued nonetheless. On the Fifth of July I was treated to the traditional Italian, Infinite-Course-Meal, and managed to not explode. My World-Cup consumption hit a saturation point when I realized just how many hours I’ve spent over the last week or two watching games, only so it would boil down to a penalty-kick shootout between The Netherlands and Costa Rica. Still had a load of fun watching, but it just seems a shame for it to come down to that.

Most recently, the Fourth of July weekend was characterized by Formula One. I started today by watching  yesterday’s qualifying for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, as the proper race was delayed by a horrific opening crash for a complete hour. The race was a disappointment as somebody rooting for Nico Rosberg, who did not finish today’s race because of a crippling gearbox problem. However as somebody who loves a bit of a fight, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso’s vicious fight for fifth place kept me rather glued to the screen, and nervous about a collision. And while Lewis Hamilton came in first, and I don’t particularly like him, I suppose it’s really cool to win your home country’s Grand Prix… and besides Daniel Ricciardo podium’d again! That dude is pure happiness.

There’s still a good twelve hours left in the weekend – and, well, despite all I’ve enjoyed so far – it’s a Sunday, before work; traditionally a rather low-energy affair. Cool things could happen, but I’m setting expectations low.