Life, Travel, Work

Friday 5: C1IN9E8M6A

March 24, 2023

Happy Friday, which is also National Cocktail Day, National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day, and most notably, National Cheesesteak Day.

calendar page that says March 24

It’s also the day before I travel to Austin, TX for TNP’s Big!Annual!Conference which kicks off on Sunday. I’m my usual mix of excitement and worry. Most of the packing is done, and that which isn’t packed is on a list to be packed. I’m going to try to be a carry-on only traveler this time not from fear of having my bags lost but not paying for a checked bag is one less charge I have to keep track of for an expense report.

I have feelings about Texas, but I’m a realistic Leftie who understands that if you cut out every state, business, and person you disagree with, you end up lonely and changing nothing. Plus it’s not fair to the people who live there and also disagree with the government.

If you’ve ever been to a conference as an attendee or as an exhibitor, you know that it’s not difficult to build in some free time to see the city you’re in. However, if you’ve ever worked a conference, you know that the days are long and tiring and free time is rare. This is my second trip to Austin and have two goals for this trip: 1) see the bats again, and 2) see if I can swing over to Practice Yoga Austin for a shirt. That’s Yoga with Adriene’s studio and I thought it would be cool to see it, even if I won’t be able to take a class. A breakfast burrito would be nice, but I start work at 6:30am every day and my breakfasts are whatever is in the staff room.

I have so many loose ends to tie up today. I hope to be awake for Movie Night, but we’ll see. Speaking of movies…

Time for the Friday 5! This week’s theme is C1IN9E8M6A, which looks to be about movies from 1986. Let’s go!

  1. What would it take to get you to go Back to School, and what would you study?
    I’m not even sure. Earning my CAE was quite an undertaking. I sometimes consider getting a MBA, but … eh? It’s a lot of money.
  2. What was pleasant About Last Night?
    Just hanging at home with WM and the dog, idly reading (Atomic Habits) and keeping a half an eye on a Battlebots rerun.
  3. With whom do you get along very well despite having almost Nothing in Common?
    WM and I are very different creatures. <3
  4. What looks Pretty in Pink?
    Stephanie Hsu looked gorgeous at in her pink Oscars gown.
  5. What interesting sight do you see daily on The Voyage Home?
    I went to the office on Tuesday to have lunch with a friend whose own in-office day is Tuesday. I’ve been taking the train home for over a decade now (The New Place isn’t that New anymore) and it’s always magical to speed over the Delaware River and through the little towns that have stations along the line. I think the most interesting part is seeing the backyards change through the seasons from winter stillness to spring gardens to summer water toys and grills to piles of autumn leaves.

And that’s all! I’ll be back home Thursday afternoon. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to blog while I’m away, because I’m only taking the work laptop and I feel weird blogging from that machine. I also have very little patience for blogging from my phone, so Instagram is your best bet if you’re obsessed with seeing photos of inside a convention center. Wordless Wednesday is already written and scheduled.

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Read in 2023: Two Magical Realism books

March 23, 2023

I try to read all genres of books but I do have my preferences. I enjoy nonfiction, summery beach books, some fantasy, some romance, scant YA. Not deep fantasy, not murder/torture, not dystopian. But a genre that’s caught my eye lately is magical realism, which are works of fiction that seem to be about real life, but work in a magical component that everyone is aware of. These two books were on my to be read list for a while and I was fortunate enough to find them both at my library on the same day.

covers of Several People are Typing and Before the Coffee gets cold

Several People are Typing by Calvin Kasulke
This one is a little gimmicky because it’s completely written as multiple Slack (Slack is a chat and collaboration software used at many organizations) conversations between groups of coworkers at a PR firm. Everything seems to be business as usual until it’s not. The format makes for a very fast read, but it still packed a lot of laughter and deep thought into the pages. Even though this was written in 2019, after 3 years of remote work the behaviors and antics seem even more realistic. Three stars.

Before the coffee gets cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
A basement coffee shop in Tokyo has a special item that’s not on the menu: The ability to go back in time. But there are rules: you have to sit in a certain seat that’s almost always occupied, you have to stay in the cafe, and you have to come back to the present time before the coffee gets cold. Even though I predicted the ending even before I hit the halfway mark (let’s face it, when you meet a pregnant woman with a weak heart in a book, the plotline practically spoils itself), it was sweet and poignant. The Goodreads reviews are all over the place and I think a lot of that has to do with a non-US culture and writing style, but for me it’s four stars.

I keep track of my books on Goodreads.

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Angry Man Farm update – tomato and pepper sprouts!

March 20, 2023

Today is the first day of spring — we made it, friends! The sun is out longer and even though the winter was mild, there’s a hint of warmer weather in the air that is exhilarating! Let’s talk about the garden!

We’re seeing some progress with our tomato and pepper seeds. Firstly, my whole setup for these seedlings looks like a NICU bed. I have lights over each tray and heating elements under each tray.

two seed trays under lights in my garage

None of these seeds were purchased this year, so I completely expected some to not germinate at all.

tomato seed tray. ten of sixteen cups have at least one sprout

I’m pretty proud of the Angry Man Farm Varietals which are the seeds descended from the first batch of roma cherry tomatoes we planted. This is the fourth year of that line and they all sprouted immediately and are overall larger. The seeds are also less than a year old.

pepper tray - four of twelve pods have visible seedings, but there's more action than the camera picked up.

The jalapeno peppers are finally starting to sprout. It’s difficult to see in the photo but the stems are just starting to appear below the soil’s surface. I was so nervous about the seeds being bad that I requested some from the library’s seed program. But they’re troupers.

My seed potatoes arrived from Burpee this weekend! I have them cut in half and drying out a little before I plant. ‘m going to start some basil and parsley in the four empty pods and hopefully I’ll be able to fertilize the outdoor beds this week with the 12-0-0 mix I bought this weekend. I also bought some perlite to loosen up the soil because it gets really heavy and compacted. Everything’s growing!

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