What’s Up? (9/12/16)

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I thought I’d try something different today.

How are things going? But, in pictures. Because here’s how things are going. After a mega weekend featuring old friends, another Pitt Football win, my brother, and Bruce Springsteen, I faced a Monday at the office with five hours of sleep… and thing went really well. Really, really well actually. The work I got done was good, and there was quite a bit of work.

But it all started with a Mocha, in Espresso A Mano, on a very comfortable 55 Degree day. The type of cool summer morning that says, summer is on it’s way out. And, for once, maybe I’m ready for summer to end. Ready for the transition from air conditioners to open windows, and into my long-sleeves and infinity scarves section of my wardrobe.

And then I left work and found two things that put a smile on my face. One, being the cat-lady public art someone put up in Lawrenceville; absolutely one of the best characters in all of The Simpsons. The other was the leaning Circle K sign, which, for the second time this year has been struck by a car and nearly completely destroyed. I feel bad for the Circle K but heck, it’s kinda funny.

And then; and then, and then, and then — after my 2 mile run and the beautiful weather and the future funk and the snapchatting — I came home to find my neighbor handing out bread for Eid Mubarak. Having almost fasted the whole day, by accident (nothing but a 2AM biscuit, and 3 cups of coffee) this home made bread hit the spot, with savory oils that are just asking for some hummus.

 

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What’s Up? (11/23/15)

Exercise Calendar

Exercise 

The days highlighted in blue show the days where I’ve done at least 40 minutes on the bicycle. Good job, me. Before October 19th I bet the blue spaces were few and far between. Or, further apart from one another. I probably haven’t gone whole weeks without a little bit of exercise for a while. I don’t have much to say on this except, I’m going to keep at it.

Lawrenceville Hipster

On Friday (11/20/15) I was making cocktails for someone, describing work, and my daily routine and whatnot — and she asked if I had become a “L-Ville Hipster” or Lawrenceville Hipster. Well, I didn’t know. I have a coffee place where I’m a regular who orders the same two things without fail. I shopped at H&M so I’d have a few new items to distinguish my look from my Oakland days. But otherwise… Whatever components make up a “hipster” I’m pretty sure I don’t have them. I think I’ve probably changed, grown, or feel significantly different since coming to Lawrenceville regularly but it’s not like I’m adopting a fake style, I’m just using the neighborhood to let myself be more… me?

This cardigan for example. I’ve been wearing it for hours. I love the thing. I love the way it meets at my neck. I love how it looks slim, or feels slim. The extra long sleeves are cool. Something about it inspires a great deal of confidence for me, the same way infinity scarves do. And I only ended up in H&M because of Lawrenceville, working there, and hearing about the H&M in South Side. So, by extension, Lawrenceville helped me find a piece of clothing that makes me feel really good. So am I some fake as hell hipster in Lawrenceville? Nah. I’m a real as fuck member of the neighborhood, and I love it.

What’s Up? (9/30/15)

Make This Quick
I need to go to sleep soon (it’s already 9:30 PM, which for the first time in over a year, has become a regular bedtime again), so I’ll make this quick. September 2015 is going to be over very soon, and its been a really important month for me. For a week now, I’ve been commuting to one of my most favorite neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, for an awesome job. At that job, I’m learning valuable skills, occasionally petting dogs, and coming into a lot of knowledge about Boston sports culture. It’s great, and Lawrenceville is so exciting to be in. I’ve seen When Marnie Was There (2014) and AKIRA (1988) in theatres at Row House Cinema, had vegan meatballs at Brillobox, seven cappuccinos from Espresso a Mano, mushroom soup from Cafe Coca, a margarita from Round Corner Cantina, and a less adventurous chicken sandwich from Wendy’s.

September was good, and I’m really looking forward to working straight through October, wearing scarves, Halloween, and throwing some cocktail parties, hopefully.

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.

Four Hours In Lawrenceville

Arrive: 2:30 PM

Walk down Butler Street, past the tattoo parlors, the kittens in the shop windows, past cafes, bars, and restaurants. Past a french bakery. Past a coffee shop/record store. Past a Cuban restaurant and bar.

Arrive @Jay Soap Designs (enjoy the scent of candles and soaps, the whistling soapmaker, the sleeping kitten in the windowsill)

Walk back down Butler Street, past the bowling alley, past the furniture restoration shop, past the vaporizer bar, past pizzerias, and past the shoe shop.

Arrive @Wild Card (enjoy the cards, the gifts, the art, the pleasant cashier; the atmosphere of pure quirk)

Walk further down Butler Street, see familiar faces. The guy who’s going to run the single-screen movie theatre, the guy who owns it (and who owns a lot of Butler Street), and the guy that’s going to run a craft beer distributor. Walk past Row House Cinema. Walk up 39th Street.

Arrive @Arsenal Cider House

Drop off a paper, catch up with the manager, talk about coffee and donuts for a bit. The weather, the summer, the bus schedule… Head out, miss a bus, catch a bus – ride a bus until the end of the line. Get stuck at a Shop & Save, get saved by a stranger who knows that the 87 turns into the 93, get back on the bus.

Depart: 6:30 PM