Life

I’ve been in my head a lot lately. The last few months have been a little quiet socially and I’ve done some traveling which is always good for rumination.

Chicago

I went to Chicago at the end of September to finally meet my coworkers (after 2 and a half years working here). I like to consume media related to my travels, so I read The Devil in the White City, which traces the rise of Chicago during the World’s Fair of 1893. The titular devil is HH Holmes who operated his murder mansion as a hotel catering to fair visitors. It sounds strange to say, but the behind the scenes of the creation of the fair was far more interesting than the murders.

While there were no major surprises in meeting my team, it was interesting to see people’s real personalities come out beyond the confines of a Zoom meeting.

While I was in town one of our team activities was a local park cleanup. The parks coordinator was quite a loquacious character. His version of Chicago – sports obsessed, strong working class vibes, chip on its shoulder about being compared to other cities, great wealth disparity between neighborhoods… sounded awfully similar to my idea of Philadelphia.

And yet I felt generally positive about Chicago, but speak about Philadelphia with qualifiers. Why? What’s the difference? Living somewhere vs visiting it? Small city vs large? East coast vs midwest? After some thought I hate to admit that it probably just comes down to money. Chicago felt wealthier, grander, and more cosmopolitan. Philadelphia feels provincial. I mean we still don’t even have a real tiki bar (I will not let this go…), and Chicago has multiple tiki bars including the very excellent Three Dots and a Dash.

NYC/New Haven

My mom visited again in late October. I think we might make it an annual thing. This time around we spent a little time out of the city. We spent a few nights in New York, and walked all over Manhattan (my mother’s endurance had me beat, I couldn’t keep up). During our stay we caught a broadway show*, visited a few colleges, saw Central Park, and went to the Met.

The third day we popped up to New Haven to hit the old stomping grounds. I felt uneasy about going back because I don’t have great memories of the end of college. It was all just a crazy blur. But my mom has always expressed this deep regret about not taking me to college since her family never encouraged her studies. It’s too bad that she carried that pain, because not being dropped off was not on my radar at all. I wanted to go alone.

I wasn’t sure what we’d do in New Haven, but we filled the day pretty easily.

I saw my old apartment.

And other old apartment.

Stopped by my old job. Same chill vibe among the workers, which made me happy.

We took a campus tour, ate some New Haven style pizza, bought some merch… New Haven was way nicer now and less grubby than I remember. On the train home I felt like I’d made some peace with the past. Everything that happened back then is gone and over now, truly.

Also my mom was really really psyched to be there again. So it was cathartic for us both.

*Phantom/Musicals

When I decided to get tickets to a broadway show, I didn’t know what to book but since Phantom was closing after 35 years, that was the obvious choice. I had started the novel earlier in the summer but hadn’t finished it (because Raoul is a lame stalker).

I didn’t think much it, besides scouring aviewfrommyseat.com for decent views, but after seeing the live Broadway musical, I was hooked – I was a “Phan”. I promptly became obsessed and sought out as many iterations of the story as possible. And there are a ton – dozens or more maybe. And then the fanfic…  wow what a rabbit hole. Ladies love Erik. On the Phantom subreddit I came across a fic where the Phantom berates Christine for eating a grilled cheese sandwich. LOL

It’s kind of a surprise that I never got into Phantom earlier. I love gothic horror, silent films, mysteries, monsters, and opera of course. The musical is just a way more romantic take compared to the book or silent film. It was sensual as hell, which I was not prepared for at all. Also it explores controlling vs healthy relationships, which is always interesting to me.

As I researched, I learned that many of the spectacular parts of the story had some kernel of truth to them. Like the chandelier in the Palais Garnier did really fall and kill someone. There really are 5 levels of cellars that lead to a subterranean lake beneath the building. There were rumors of a ghost haunting the opera, and various legends of men with deformed faces (whether from accident or birth) living within the opera. Wild!

The musical production itself is interesting because the version on broadway hasn’t changed much from its original incarnation 35 years ago. Watching the show is like… time travel in a way. And some of the show’s staff have been there since the very beginning! This American Life has an interesting story that’s about Phantom’s orchestra, and what its like to play the same music every night for decades. TLDR: it drives you insane, but you do what you gotta do for money.

Phantom lead to me seeking out more musicals, which I guess is something of a new hobby (which continues to baffle Ryan). From lurking the broadway subreddit I’ve learned a lot of new terms and history, which is fun. Les Mis happened to come through Philly a few weeks after I saw Phantom, so I caught that. After listening to a few cast albums, I got into Hadestown, so now I’ve got tickets to see that in NY at the end of December. And I’ve got to see Phantom again before it closes for good, so we’ll be daytripping into the city to see that in January.

Knitting

All of my fall was spent knitting baby things and I’m so glad that’s done!

This blanket was 30,000 stitches.

The leafy pattern up close

And this one was 40,000 stitches but I was able to memorize the pattern so it was actually much faster.

And just for funsies I made a baby Yoda robe.

It’s gonna be a long while before the recipient can wear it.

And yet another pair of socks of course.

Scotland

Our first international travel in 3 years! I’ve got a ton of photos so I’ll do a separate post on my trip. I left inspired by the harsh beauty of winter in Scotland.

Puppy Trials

Since the start of November Bogie has been having seizures. The first two were scary but manageable, but once we returned from our trip to Scotland Bogie immediately had his 3rd and worst seizure in 3 weeks, and at the emergency vet he was put on meds to stop his ongoing attack (which we had been avoiding since once you start the drugs, it’s for life, every 12 hours… forever….).

Woof

At first he was so zonked out from the medicine that he turned into a little dog zombie who had forgotten all his potty training. He’d just look you in the eye and pee right there. But then the drugs made him restless, and he paced endlessly. For the first day or two back home from the hospital he barely slept, just walked around for hours, clicking his nails on the wooden floors.  We put up baby gates just in case he fell down the stairs since he didn’t have great motor control.

To limit the pacing, we tried crating him in our bedroom at night. Since he still didn’t have control of himself he peed and pooped in the crate on his cushion. Then when we let him out, he walked through the poop and dragged it all over our bedroom at 2 in the morning. I thought I was going to cry and throw up at the same time, it was so sad. After that we decided to take turns sleeping in the living room so that we could let him out quicker. We dragged the mattress for my daybed down to the living room, and things were weird for a little while.

It’s been about three weeks on the meds, and Bogie is mostly back to normal. He takes his pills 2x a day and we’ve taken him to a doggie neurologist. I’m glad he’s feeling better, but who knows if the drugs will actually help manage his seizures. So far the longest we’ve gone without a seizure is a week? 10 days maybe? I try not to count the days between seizures because I don’t want to be disappointed.

This has been going on for a month now but I don’t think the enormity of what this could mean has hit me yet. We’ve joined canine epilepsy groups on Facebook, which has mostly been a helpful resource, but there are frightening stories from people who have had their entire lives upended. They don’t travel, they don’t go out, they’re taking care of the dog all the time and then in some cases it dies from too many seizures or too long of a seizure. Sigh.

We’re nowhere near that level of life upheaval, but things are still up in the air. I just hope the meds can contain his seizures to a manageable level. Scary stuff!

Life

After my third Philadelphia winter, I was really looking forward to doing all the stereotypical summer things (mostly just being outside). It’s been a bit of a blur, but here’s what I’ve been up to:

Running

Broad Street Run

May started with the Broad Street run. It’s a local 10-mile race that I’ve wanted to do since I moved here. It’s all on one street (Broad St, duh), and encompasses a large chunk of Philadelphia, hitting a ton of neighborhoods. You basically start at the top of the city and make your way to the bottom. I thought that it was a competitive race to get into, but I won the lottery on my first try. When race day came, I was one of 28,000 runners (normally it’s 40k)!! It was nuts. The whole race was downhill, and the turnout from locals was encouraging. It was super festive, but a bit of a cluster. I had a great time and would definitely do it again next year, but I totally got sick from this event. I was miserable for a week or two afterwards.

The Philly 10K

The end of summer is marked by the Philly 10k. It felt like a super unique race last year, so I signed up for the 10k again. I didn’t really train and it was way hotter, so I turned in a pretty disappointing performance. I still celebrated by having Ryan come down and meet me for brunch at a local deli.

This summer set heat records for Philadelphia, so running has been a total slog. The only thing I can say is that at least I’ll be faster in the fall. 🙂

Kickball

We joined a local kickball rec league for a season. Games were at the local park a few blocks from our house, so it was beyond convenient. If it were further away than that, I don’t think I would have done it. The season flew by super fast and while we didn’t make any lifelong friends, it was way more social compared to our bowling league, lol.

House Stuff

We got a shed

One of the worst things about living in a rowhome is that you have to drag your garbage through the house once a week for trash day. With the year-round thunderstorms, it gets nasty fast. Well no more! We now have a shed to store our trash cans out front. I was concerned about breaking zoning rules, but Ryan reassured me that we needed to embrace the inherent lawlessness of this city and just go for it. So far, so good!

Another summer of tomatoes

I was better prepared for tomato season this year and had a ton of recipes at the ready: salsa, shakshuka, tomato salad, tomato sandwiches, pasta sauce, ratatouille…

We tried to teach Bogie to talk

Ryan got some recordable talking buttons so that we could teach Bogie to communicate with us. He started out SCARED of these buttons and would run away! This dog!!! It’s been a month but I think he’s starting to get it.

I knit a lot of socks

I made a resolution earlier this year to knit down my sock yarn stash. So I’ve just been cranking through all my hand dyed sock yarn like a sock zombie. Here’s some I’ve finished, and I’ve got 3 more pairs in the works.

The Rye Light socks in Emma’s Practically Perfect Sock – “Take a Hike” <– new fave sock yarn. This pattern is really simple but somehow was fun to knit and fits quite well.

Hermione’s Everyday Socks in FiberStory Fave Sock – “Chili”. This is one of the most popular socks on Ravelry, and it’s fun but not mind blowing. I think it’s popular mostly due to the name of the sock. Who doesn’t want Hermione’s socks?

Not Another Broken Rib Sock in FiberStory Fave Sock – “Hazy”. It’s hard to see, but these are kind of cool in that the fabric ends up looking like snakeskin.

Generic toe up socks in a mystery green yarn. No pattern.

Gentleman’s Fancy Sock for Ryan in more mystery yarn. I think it’s German sock yarn? This pattern is a refresh of a British pattern originally from 1901.

Sunday Swing socks in yet another green mystery yarn (This project has been sitting unfinished in a bag for at least 5 years…). I fucked up the toes but I just wanted to be done, so oh well.

Being Outside

Lots of good events for wandering around:

2nd St Festival

Baseball

Cocktails at the Bark Park

Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire

A real life mermaid
My first joust

Pool time

 

Travel

I was freaked out by all the summer air travel horror stories, so I didn’t go anywhere really. Visited my mom for 4th of July and in August made it out to Westport to hang with Ryan’s friends for a chill week at a beach house.

Echo Park

Saw some live music

Jonathan Richman

Circumstances may change in my life, but Jonathan Richman is a constant. I’ve seen him I don’t know how many times in San Francisco, but I was still excited to see him here at Union Transfer. He’s in his 70s!!

Jonathan Richman playing guitar at Union Transfer
Yesterday, today, tomorrow…

Sleigh Bells

Sleigh Bells were objectively fantastic, but this was the night before the Philly 10k, so I was so out of it and super grumpy.

Sleigh Bells performing at the TLA
Sleigh Bells

The Weeknd

Pravi was in town when another friend scored some free tickets to The Weeknd show. I’d never been to a stadium show before, but I totally get the appeal now. Everything is just… bigger. The music, the stage, the pyrotechnics. The Weeknd had to cancel his tour opener show in Toronto due to some AV issues, so this was effectively the start of his tour. The energy was great, and I’m ashamed to say now that DawnFM is an amazing album. Don’t sleep on it!

We had to wait forever for the lights to go out and the show to start. This is a football stadium.

Looks totally different at night

Cut the Act

Saw Ryan’s brother’s punk band for the first time. They happened to be playing at a bar down the street from us. A week later we saw them again in a barbershop punk show complete with a mosh pit. Really took me back to high school.

Sometimes Why

Saw a friend’s 90s cover band a few times. 

Made in America

I started May obsessed with Un Verano Sin Ti (I was convinced it was the album of the summer, but my friends didn’t seem interested), so when Ryan told me that Bad Bunny was headlining the Labor Day music festival here I knew we were going. Because our neighbors are obsessed with Burna Boy, we were able to wrangle them into joining.

I’m not going to lie, I had some reservations about going to Made in America. It started as Jay Z’s big festival that included relatively mainstream acts (Beyonce, Nine Inch Nails, Pearl Jam, Skrillex), but in the past few years it’s become mostly hip hop. Philly had a shooting in the same spot just a month earlier during July 4, so security was super strict. Clear backpacks only and they went through my stuff, fully unwrapping my picnic blanket, the whole shebang. Anyways, once I got there and settled, it was all good. While I didn’t know some of the acts I saw, I’m glad I went.

Burna Boy!

I had no idea what Burna Boy’s stage presence would be like, but he’s pretty game and fun. He seems like a good dude.

Bad Bunny!!!

I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but Bad Bunny earned his headliner status, no question. He played a massive set, and it was just a total dance party for like 2 hours. The best part was being able to give Ryan brief synopses of each song, since it was all in Spanish. “This song is about him creeping on a chick at the beach… This song is about him creeping on a chick at the VIP… This song is about an auntie wanting to know when he’s going to get married…”. It’s really not that deep LOL.

It was a pretty great end to the summer <3. Feeling excited about fall and spooky season of course.

Life, Travel

2022! Here we are! Due to the pandemic 2020 and 2021 have melted together into one great big fuzzy blob of time in my mind. But I wanted to think back and appreciate  all the great things from last year. 2021 > 2020, and I can only hope that 2022 is even better…

Highlights from 2021…

Seeing Live Shows Again

Our first show since the start of the pandemic was in October with Big Freedia – an auspicious start! Since then we’ve been able to see Rufus Wainwright, the Magnetic Fields, Talib Kweli, Bob Dylan and John Waters.

Car life

Ryan got a car! He had his sights set on a Prius, and when we went to the Toyota dealership everything we saw was sold out. So Ryan bought the single car that was available on a boat coming over from Japan. We named it Yoshi.

Knitting

The lovely fall weather got me in the mood to pick up the needles again. I spent an afternoon inputting my yarn inventory into my Ravelry account, and I can’t say that it’s any better than having an excel spreadsheet, but I’m glad I did it.

Seymour is very interested

I decided to knit some of my holiday gifts this year, and stumbled across this hat pattern which is definitely a holy grail for holiday presents – fun to knit, fast, low yardage, and very cute.

I had to block the hat in order to get the lace to pop. I don’t have a mannequin head, so I tried using a kettle bell. Worked out ok, lol.

Running

I kept running after my 10k, and ended up running the Rocky 10 mile race in November. Now that I’m running decent distances (up to 12 miles), I’ve been able to take more interesting routes. I’ve been running down by the historical stuff, all the way across the bridge to Camden, but usually down to Fairmount Park, where all the races are normally held.

Invisalign

I’m done! But nobody told me I have to wear retainers at night for the rest of my life. Oh well.

New Restaurants in the neighborhood

In the fall the floodgates burst and a slew of restaurants that I’ve been excited about finally opened. Mostly I’m excited about having more lunch options.

Goldie Falafel – Vegan falafel place. The falafel has been solid, but the tehina shakes have all been divine. I’ve got to get one every time.

Middle Child Clubhouse – A local outpost of a popular sandwich shop. They’ve got a vegan sandwich called the Phoagie that tastes like pho in a bun. Very satisfying.

LMNO – Baja cuisine. Really sexy spot with delicious food that tastes clean. Unfortunately it’s pretty expensive, so more of a special occasion place?

Hook and Master -It’s a seafood/pizza place with 3 different styles of pizza. But more importantly, there are tiki drinks on the cocktail menu! While I don’t think it truly qualifies as a tiki bar, I’ll take it. As people have heard me complain before, wtf with the lack of tiki in this city. There are no tiki bars here.

Primary Plant Based – I was sad when Cadence closed, but this is a replacement that I’m much more likely to frequent. Cadence was delicious but also more of a special occasion spot.

Making new friends

In Austin we made a friend. We were only there for a long weekend!! It was then that I knew that we had to up our friend making game in Philadelphia, Covid awkwardness be damned. One strategy that we’ve been implementing has been to become “regulars” at a local bar. We looked at the bars in the neighborhood and picked one that felt like somewhere that locals would go to during the week. Then we just kept going, at least once a week. We’ve met some interesting people, and nothing exactly has panned out from that, but the bartenders now recognize us and we aren’t carded anymore, so we’re becoming regulars. With the latest wave of Omicron we’ve tamped this back, but we’re going to keep trying.

We’ve also met nice folks at the dog parks, and have even gone so far as to exchange numbers. But it’s really taking that next step where it can fall apart…

We got to know our neighbors when Ryan wrote a post on the NextDoor app complaining about illegal dumping in our neighborhood. Our neighbor responded, and next thing I knew we were out having dinner with them.

We’ve had much better luck meeting people through other people we know. Cool people know likeminded people, I suppose. Best of all is that a few of these people live only a few blocks away from us, making it much more likely that we can bump into each other in the neighborhood and make casual hang out suggestions.

I have gotten better at putting myself out there when I feel like someone might be receptive to friendship. It doesn’t feel so awkward anymore to just say “Hey I think you’re cool, let me give you my number. We should hang out sometime.” But like I said the next step of scheduling something… well that’s been trickier to navigate. I am trying not to take it personally when a potential connection peters out/doesn’t take.

Halloween

Spooky season was back in full force this year. We went with our new friends to the newly revamped “Halloween Nights” at the Penitentiary. Ryan went on a bit of a spree buying museum memberships, and we’re now members of the penitentiary. Love that place.

We also went to a terrible karaoke bar full of college kids in order to meet another friend, but the manager of the neighboring bar came up to us and whisked us all away to a Squid Game themed bar! I felt like a celebrity.

Last but not least – Travel / Family Friend Time

In March Pravi came and visited during her holiday leave. Restaurants and bars were still not open at the time so we didn’t do anything crazy. Just hung around and drank and watched silly movies. It was just nice to have her around. Oh, actually I guess we did sensory deprivation tanks for her birthday. That was wild and kind of messed with my brain.

In April we popped over to NYC for Ryan’s birthday. I can’t believe that I live so close to New York and never go.

Then in May we went down to Austin to visit Pravi since she’s at Fort Hood. Austin was magical as usual, but this time I did feel sad for the locals. Their city is ruined by partiers. I’m sorry Austin!

Late night truths
Barton Springs

In June we visited Jill and Brett in Georgia. Jill always seems to find the good in where she lives. Hyper local stuff, historic spots and such. Makes me feel like I should try harder with Philly.

Distillery tour

In September my mom visited. I was worried about Delta mucking up her visit, but the stars aligned. Everything was open, the weather was beautiful, and Philly was on its best behavior. I felt a small sense of pride being able to show her around, and the trip definitely left me feeling a little more positively about the city. One of my favorite things about my mom is that she will roll with most situations. Now I will never forget taking her to the local burlesque and seeing Flintstones striptease. And Ryan will never forget either, no matter how hard he tries… 🙂

For Thanksgiving Jill and I visited San Francisco together. Amazingly everyone I hit up was around and available to hang out. Miss my friends there, but San Francisco was still pretty much the same. I ended up making a vegan Wellington for Thanksgiving, which turned out really nicely.

The crazy Christmas house on Divisadero
Urban hike

My baby

For Christmas I went to Los Angeles. Finally got to see my mom’s new house, and it’s really nice! I also came home with a suitcase full of classic video games, Pokemon cards, and beanie babies to sell on ebay.

Jill and Brett visited Philadelphia again. More things were open than when they visited last year, and we had a small cocktail party. Then we drove up to Maine for a few days to celebrate the New Year.

We put some lessons learned into practice: batch cocktails and ordering tons of food. It really made things a lot easier.
Inventive cocktails at Blythe and Burrows in Portland
Portland Head Lighthouse
It’s a photogenic lighthouse from all angles
Halp we R trapped in the aquarium at the LL Bean store

I don’t have any travel pinned down yet for 2022, but I’m hoping to be more intentional about it, and really make an effort to see people this year.

Life

Guess my run is postponed…

This morning I received an email from Chewy.com telling me that today is National Pet Parents Day! Apparently it’s some holiday dreamt up to be like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Alas, the animals can’t get me brunch or flowers.

Anyways, time flies – it’s been more than a whole year with Seymour! I was so cautious about being tied down by a cat again, but this is a life decision that easily tips over into the PRO category. His presence is worth the trouble of the litter box and the price of the cat sitters. It’s been fun to get to learn his personality over the past year.

10 Funny Things About Seymour

  • After taking him to the vet for an initial checkup, a specific caloric intake was recommended. Well, he’s been on and off his diet for an entire year and he’s gone from 17 to 15 lbs. The vet says he should be 12. That’s my bad of course as the owner, but I swear this cat just wants to be large. I mean, his previous owners actually named him “Fat Cat.” Maybe we should move toward acceptance, as long as he’s healthy.

  • Seymour is so fat that he has to go up and down the stairs in one big burst of energy, lest he lose momentum. To go up the stairs, he crouches, his butt wiggles a bit as he prepares mentally, then he huffs up the stairs in a flurry, with a little “mrowwwww!” of effort all the way up. When hurtling down the stairs, he can’t control his speed, and his tummy fat waddles left and right.
Sneak attack from above
  • Going up the stairs is such an annoyance to him that he does something Ryan calls “Seymour Sonar.” He’ll sit at the bottom of the stairs and yowl plaintively like he’s been hurt, waiting to see if one of us will respond with “Seymour??!!!!”. Then he knows whether it’s worth the effort to go upstairs.
  • Despite his girth, he’s an agile and ferocious hunter.

  • He loves to play with string,  and if I’m ever flossing anywhere in the house (4 times per day now that I’m doing Invisalign), before I’m done, Seymour will show up to watch me floss. To get a better look he’ll stretch up against the vanity and try to bat at the floss. How does he know that I’m flossing? I think that maybe the floss I use is squeaky and sounds like a bird?
He cares about good dental hygiene
  • He fits a lot of cat stereotypes. He loves boxes, has hairballs, and pops the dog with his paw when annoyed. Just like Garfield!
Get off my lawn!
All cats love a sunny spot
  • When it’s cold he sleeps between my legs for warmth. Once he falls asleep, he snores the cutest little kitty snores.

  • He’s like a litterbox version of the fairytale “The Princess and the Pea”. If there is but one smidge of poop hidden in the litter, the whole box is tainted, and he’ll wail angrily for me to clean it up. If I wait too long to take care of it, he’ll poop outside of the box in protest. Because of this, we have 3 litter boxes – almost one on every floor of the house. Every day I’m running all over the house checking each box, just in case. It’s ridiculous, really. He’ll also poop outside of the box when he’s angry at me. When we went on vacation back in October, he had perfect litter box manners for the sitter for a whole week. I come home, and within 30 min there’s poop on the carpet waiting for me to clean up. What the hell.
All up in my business
  • I can walk into his room (my office) with a bowl of wet food, set it down, and he’ll sit outside the doorway staring in. He loves dry food, and sometimes he will wait for me to add dry food before he’ll come over and start eating. I’ve figured out how to trick him by just lightly crinkling the kibble bag. Just the sound gets him running!

  • He is a good cat-brother to Bogie. They  tolerate each other 🙂

Life

Here we are entering month 8 of coronavirus times. Looking back over my photos there isn’t much to share, but here we go.
At the beginning of the month we’d rented a car for our trip to the Poconos. The rental period was by the week, so we had an extra day or two before we had to return it. Having a car allowed us to finally go to a drive-in movie theater! The Philadelphia Film Society recently set up shop down by the navy yard. We saw Tenet there, and while the movie was not one of Christopher Nolan’s finest (honestly it was a hot mess and not even in a fun way), I really enjoyed the drive-in experience. I was dressed cozily and had all my drinks and my snacks. What’s not to love?
I really miss going out to see movies.I don’t think I realized how much a part of my identity it was until I moved here and just stopped going due to inconvenience. I’ve been keeping a running list of movies I’ve been watching this year, and I’m averaging about 15 films per month. Unfortunately I am behind on watching AFI’s top 100 movies, but at this point who cares? Time is meaningless.
We also used the car for a Trader Joe’s haul. It was my first TJ’s trip since February, and I grabbed about 3 of of every TJ’s staple I’ve ever loved over the years. It all came to about $200, which is a lot for me. When I apologized to the cashier, she told me about one family that spent $800 in one go!
Ryan started going hard on the bread making, and he’s been churning out pretty consistent loaves. I am the happy benefactor of his obsession.
Our pizza game has gone from “not bad” to “pretty good” 😀
But then the next time we created these monstrosities. LOL. Best not to get too cocky.
Also the bell peppers finally came in, all at once and a bit too late if you ask me.
I bought a bag of Hi-Chew and became irrationally angry when only 2/10 of the candies were Strawberry. I HATE GRAPE. I’m still bitter and the candy is still in my pantry.
I ended up sending out 75 letters to potential voters. Please vote!
One day while I was out on a run on the path by the water, a swarm of dirt bike and ATV riders came through en masse. I’d seen them plenty of times before, but this time they literally held up traffic for like 10-15 minutes. It was wild. When I got home I did some research, and it turned out that it was “Dirt Bike Rell Day” – basically a memorial for a local dirt biker who was gunned down back in 2014. According to the Citizen app, there were about 3,000 riders out and about. Wild. Here’s a news video from 2018 that explains it a bit more.

As an early birthday present, Ryan got me this plush plague doctor. Isn’t he great?
Recently a new group of bros moved in to the apartments across from our house. Now we have vocal bros to the left, to the right, and across from us. Not to mention the group of women who live underneath New Bros. Everyone likes to party, but the new bros are the most insufferable. They have really loud parties at least two nights every week, let’s not even talk about the lack of social distancing. But for some reason whenever they party they leave all their doors and windows open, so it’s incredibly loud late into the night. Finally one night our Neighbor Bros to the Left climbed up to their roof deck and had it out with the New Bros. I was in bed at the time, and once the screaming started the dog, the cat and I all bolted right up. Then we each looked at each other. It was a strange moment.
The neighbors went hardcore on their Halloween decorations again this year. Similar to last year, it was just a bunch of fratty guys in polo shirts screaming at each other to chug beer, not a female in sight. Kind of sad really.
I don’t know how we ended up surrounded by so many partiers, but it’s still not as terrible as Ralph, the burnout living for the 90’s tweaker who lived above my bedroom in San Francisco. I don’t think I will ever be woken up at 4 in the morning with the walls shaking to “Thriller” ever again, so that’s progress.