What’s Up? (11/27/2016)

Formula 1
How about that? Nico Rosberg is the 2016 F1 Champion. It’s been 966 days since watching my first race, the Bahrain Grand Prix of 2014, and 966 days of hoping for this moment. 2014 was rough–a mechanical failure destroyed Nico’s championship dreams in Abu Dhabi. The next year was worse; in 2015 Nico barely challenged Lewis Hamilton, but he ended the race on a high note that gave his fans a lot of hope.

And 2016? It was a brilliant year to be a Nico Rosberg fan, I was sick to my stomach more than a few times, but it feels amazing to finally see Rosberg on top. He wasn’t the fastest driver this year, not the best over-taker, not even the best qualifier — but he was consistent, he kept his car together, and it took nerves of steel not to give this thing up when it came down to one last race.

As I say ‘auf wiedersehen’ to Formula 1 for a few months, I’m looking forward to the attention Nico will get in the off season. Mercedes is likely to sell special “champion” merch, and maybe Nico will even be lined up for some mainstream TV interviews. Vettel got to go on Letterman, and Hamilton got a 60 Minutes story so… one can hope.

 

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What’s Up (10/3/16)

Planned Parenthood
After a bit of an absence it feels really nice to have Planned Parenthood people back in my life. There was some fundraiser back in May, or so, but since August things have been a little more regular, and last week there were two events back to back; a debate watch on (9/26) and then a little s’mores and cider Autumn-themed party. Can’t say I’ve had that much to drink on a Monday/Tuesday  back to back before, but it was all for a good cause, and it’s been really great just to have like-minded people surrounding me again

Lucifer
Speaking of things that are coming back into my life… my guilty TV-pleasure, Lucifer, is back again too. With season one ending on (4/25) and season two starting on (9/19) fans of show, both real and slightly ironic like myself, really didn’t have to wait long to get more Lucifer. Is the writing any worse? Heck, it’s kind of hard to tell with this show, but I’m still ‘enjoying’ it? Glad to have it back, especially as we enter Autumn, and I need crappy TV to keep me occupied while I ride the stationary bike.

Autumn
And speaking of Autumn; that of course, is back and I’m liking it so far. Can’t say I come out of Summer with any regrets really. If there’s any year when I used every day of nice weather to my advantage, it was this year. I ran a lot. I’m almost coming on the 1-year anniversary of dedicating myself to a better, more exercise-filled life, but more on that (10/10). I kind of wish Autumn would **** or get off the bucket though, I hate these days that are 50 degrees in the morning and 70 in the afternoon: how are you supposed to dress for that?

Formula 1 
Finally, if there’s one more thing that’s really defining what’s on my mind on a week-to-week basis, it’s Formula 1. With only 5 races left this year, Nico Rosberg is in the lead with 23 points after an amazing Singapore and Malaysia Grand Prix. As a fan of Nico, I can’t really relax because a lot can happen in 5 races. Heck, actually, it’s possible for him to lose that lead in just ONE race. Still, I’m rooting for him and looking forward to a good fight.

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)

Singapore
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.

Negima
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.

Kelevra
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? (7/21/15)

First Dates
I have to say, having only had three first dates in my life, that having a good first date is one of those incredible life moments. You don’t struggle to talk, you’re really happy to be with this person, even if you don’t know them all that well, and you overstay your welcome at whatever establishment you chose — talking hours after you finished your food or ordered your last drink. Of course, the funny thing about a really good first date is that it probably means you’ll not have another for some time. The thing that’s uncertain to me right now, is the “date” quality of this thing that happened last Saturday. It felt like a date, but it could very well be the start of a friendship, and I guess that uncertainty is just a matter of fact for 2015.

Jobs
Honestly, I need to keep reminding myself that I haven’t been looking for work that long, and that I shouldn’t panic about the state of my job search, but what the heck is up with Hiring Managers not writing back to even confirm the job application was received? I may very well be approaching fifteen or so applications, a number of which came after this critical moment where my resume was revamped and my cover letter style altered. I talked to one serious employer over the phone. Now, if the numbers are that you only hear back from 1 in 10, I guess I’m not doing so bad. “It’s a numbers game.” I get it, I do… But this doesn’t feel like I’m doing alright.

Formula Update
The news came this weekend that Jules Bianchi passed away. Absolutely terrible. Absolutely no question that the incident in Suzuka should never have been a possibility. People need to be paid to imagine horrible outcomes and prevent them before they happen. Now a young man is dead. That feeling in my stomach last year… The 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, just sitting in front of the television as rain poured, all the while knowing that you could do nothing. Bianchi may have just passed away, but there’s no mistaking it, as morbid as it may be, I was there, watching this race early in the morning, when a young Frenchman lost his life in Japan, and that really disturbs me. And I’ll be watching this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, and I wonder what the atmosphere will be. Will we go beyond a moment of silence?

What’s Up? (11/9/14)

Formula One
Nico Rosberg won the Brazilian Grand Prix after finishing best in FP1, Fp2, Fp3, Q1, Q2, and Q3. I think that’s the first time anyone’s swept the race weekend so sufficiently since 2004. Not the most exciting race, I didn’t see as many great passes as in the US GP, but the tire strategy was interesting to watch. Nico’s chances of winning the World Championship aren’t bad, but I’m not sure it’ll happen either. Even if he doesn’t win, it was nice to watch him beat Hamilton one more time this season.  I don’t know what I’m gonna do after Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina. Formula One’s been the defining factor of so many weekends since Spring. I woke up early, and stayed up late to watch these races, now what?

 

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!