Social Media hiatus

Boy, has it been a tough year or what? I have had to make a concerted effort to stay positive more than I can remember in a while. Starting a new job helped a lot with that, as the old one was just beating me down. I’ve also continued running a lot, to get back in shape for running the Boston Marathon next April. I haven’t biked as much as I would have liked, even though work is pretty close for me; it always seems like there is something going on before or after the work day that I need to get to, but I will make more of an effort with that. Curling also started again, which is a nice reprieve two or three times a week. After a slow start to the year, I’ve even started reading more regularly. And yet….

I decided that it’s time to get off of social media for a while. Even after culling the people I follow on Twitter, it still makes me angry more than it brings me joy. Facebook has gotten to be mostly useless noise. Half the time I check anything out on there, I’m just scrolling and not really taking anything in. So I’m quitting them, for now. I might occasionally pop on to do a quick update for curling or that sort of thing, but I’m going to make a serious effort to avoid them altogether. I deleted them from my phone even.

So now what? I devote more time and attention to real life. I’m going to keep reading more. I’ll catch up on some TV shows I’ve missed (without looking at my phone the whole time I’m watching!). I’ll dust off that old Raspberry Pi project I was working on before our basement got renovated. But mostly, I’ll just be here, in the present. Sounds pretty great.

Farewell, Office

When I started my new job in June, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had an office of my very own, complete with actual closing door and everything.

Unfortunately, I have to move out next week as renovations begin on our floor, and they convert everything to an “open pod workspace,” which is pretty much my nightmare scenario.

Farewell, sweet private office, I will miss you, and I will probably work from home a lot more in the future whenever I can!

 

Curling Season Begins!

After a long summer, it’s almost time for the curling season to begin once again. The Potomac Curling Club has a whole lot of new members this year, thanks to Team Shuster winning gold at the Olympics. In fairness, we always get a bump post-Olympics, but this seems bigger than usual. All but two of our leagues are completely full, so we basically have seven days a week of constant curling opportunities.

For myself, I’ve already been out on the ice practicing a few times (still need to fix a bit of drift in my slide) and helped teach a Learn to Curl on Tuesday as well. I’ll be up there again tonight to practice with my teams, and will be volunteering tomorrow at our first bonspiel of the year. After that, I’ll be participating in our Embassy Row bonspiel in November, and heading up to Rochester for the GNCC Men’s club playdowns in December. I will probably travel to another bonspiel in January or February before participating in the GNCC Mixed playdowns back at the Potomac club.

My son is also curling and looking forward to the season. He’s probably going to come with me to practice tonight, and juniors will start next weekend. I’m hoping to get him to participate in a junior bonspiel as well, if we can find the time between soccer and basketball.

If you’ve ever wanted to try curling, just click the link above to head over to the Potomac Curling Club website and see what we have to offer. There are open houses coming up on October 20 and again in March. See you there!

New Shoes

Through some weird confluence of coincidences, I recently found myself needing to get a few new pairs of shoes. I really like them, so I figured I should share what I got, and why.

On occasional weekends, I work for a trail race company called EX2 Adventures. A lot of what I do is mark the course and then take down the markings after the race. Plus, one of the perks of the job is that you can run any races you aren’t working for free. After a not-so-fun experience demarking the extremely muddy and wet Fountainhead course earlier this year, and preparing to race the tough Hemlock course this fall, I headed up to the newest Potomac River Running store in Vienna. Ray, one of the staff members there, is also an EX2 runner and had also run the Fountainhead race, so he knew exactly the conditions that I was trying to tackle. He recommended the New Balance Hierros. (I also picked up another pair of the Hoka One One Cliftons, which I wore for marathon training, since I’m also starting to train for next year’s Boston Marathon.) I had the chance to try out the Hierros last weekend at Pohick Bay. The course wasn’t too bad, but given the amount of rain we’ve had in the DC area this year, there were some extremely muddy and wet spots along the way. The Hierros got through and kept my feet nice and dry, even after an early morning running and verifying the course. Thanks Ray!

My new job with Esri has a pretty loose dress code. Just don’t wear shorts and t-shirts and you’re probably fine. I had been wearing some cheap Old Navy shoes since I started but wanted to get a pair of shoes with a bit more support and comfort. Enter the Adidas Advantage with Cloudfoam. They are super comfortable and feel like I’m walking in pillows but still are solid underfoot. Love them.

That was a lot of words about shoes, but sometimes, it’s the little things that can make you happy.

Resurrection

I am taking a bit of a social media breather and decided it was about time to resurrect the old website. I have always had a hosting plan with various blog software installations, from MovableType back in the day, to standalone WordPress most recently. Now I’m moving it over to WordPress.com, where I won’t have to worry about software updates or backups. Hopefully there will be more to come, but in the meantime, you can walk down Nostalgia Avenue with me and check out the old stuff of Ellie and Evan. So cute!

Take a Vacation

Inspired by Free Money Finance’s post, I thought I would share our upcoming vacation plans. Everyone should take a vacation! Here are our plans for the year so far:

  • Spring Break to New York to see Hamilton and a Yankee game
  • The girls are taking a Girl Scout trip to Georgia
  • Summer trip to the Great Smoky Mountains to see the eclipse
  • Trip to Orlando to go to Harry Potter World and for my daughter to go to a dance competition

That doesn’t seem like nearly enough, and I’m sure we will also do a long weekend here and there to keep things balanced. What are your 2017 vacation plans?

Carry On

Today was something of a strange day. I am still feeling a bit under the weather, but I went to an interview with EX2 Adventures to see if I could start a side gig working on their races. Jim Harman runs the show there, and I already know it would be a great fit for me if they decided to take me on. I thought the interview went pretty well, but I’m always a poor judge of these things, if my past “real job” interviews are anything to go by. At any rate, I absolutely adore the EX2 races and would be honored if they decided to let me work for them.

After I got home from the interview, Evan had a basketball game, and his team earned their first tie of the year. They had previously not won any games, so they have definitely gotten a lot better as the season has gone on.

After we got home, I finished installing the backup camera on my car. Our replacement for the totaled Civic hybrid, the 2013 Hyundai Elantra, has been treating me well so far. But the rental car we had with a backup camera really spoiled me, so I decided to put one in the new car. I bought a Pioneer AppRadio4 stereo from Crutchfield, which added Apple CarPlay to my display. Then I ran some cables to the back of the car and added in a cheap-o Chinese backup camera. It is so freaking cool, I don’t even know how to describe the sense of accomplishment I got that I was able to install it all myself!

And then. And then. So many amazing citizens of this country of ours came out to our airports and told our President that we are a nation of immigrants, and that we stand behind our diversity as a country. It’s so amazing to see people just show up at the arrival terminals and welcome strangers to our country. I hope that we will emerge from this stronger than ever.