Monday, March 31, 2008

Indie Music Discovery ::shiny-thing(s) of the day::

Aside from my local radio station, I've found two fantastic sources for discovering new indie bands.

1. Echolocations, formerly In-Radio. I've been a subscriber now for 3 years to this fantastic music "magazine". Every other month I receive a CD with an eclectic selection of 15 or so tracks from indie artists. The quality of the website has declined since the magazine changed hands, but the music is just as good. Email the address on the website for a free issue.

2. Indiefeed. A grouping of several podcasts that cover different indie genres. I subscribe to the indie-pop flavor. I've heard a few familiar voices and discovered quite a few more on this weekly podcast.

Have any sources to recommend to me?

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I think part of my problem is that I don't have a specialty or any creative originality. Sure, I'm interested in lots of things, but what am I contributing? I really want to make something but I don't know what or how.

I've always been this way. I flit about between subjects without ever truly knowing enough to contribute anything back. This was why becoming a librarian was so appealing to me, because it encompasses so much. Not that I'm even doing that.

I've been knitting and I think I'm actually quite good at it. But I've never really designed any sort of pattern and I wouldn't know where to start that hadn't already been done. I suppose I need more than a few more years experience.

I don't feel there's anything wrong with all this, so why can't I rid myself of this urge to make?

I want alpacas.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Humbled: Re-revisiting the C25K

Last October just before my favorite race of the year, I developed a sharp pain in my hip. I stopped running and waited a month or so for it to subside, and it only got worse. Two doctors visits and some negative x-rays later, I found myself in physical therapy. My IT band had reached "maximum tightness" according to my physical therapist. A month or so later I was feeling better, and decided to put Jay in charge of the massage portion so that I didn't have to continue to pay someone.

When I tried to go back to running I was greeted by extreme shin pain. The muscle in the front of my shin, Tibialis anterior (the one that lifts your toes), refused to do so. I had to stop running after just a couple minutes and massage it before I could continue. I've had this before, and upon looking at my log, it seems like it has been whenever I've taken extended time off. I finally admitted to myself that it was because I was doing too much too fast. A hard realization to come to when it happens after 2 minutes, since it's a time so short.

I've never made it past "amateur runner", with a 1-time maximum distance of 5 miles (which hurt a LOT), so my base mileage wasn't enough to see me through injury. This wasn't the first time I'd gotten here either. I love running, but somehow my participation in the sport waxes and wains. Sometimes it's pain, sometimes it's the weather.

It's time for me to take up the Couch to 5K program again. As difficult and frustrating as it is to come to this realization, it's better than my other choice of "I'll never be a real runner". By this point I'm a third timer to the C25K. I can't remember why I had to start over last time, but it was a few years ago.

So I did my first run today, running intervals of 60 seconds and walking 90, while listening to Steve Runner's podcast episode about the C25K, hoping it would make me feel better about starting over. His reprimands regarding skipping ahead were just what I needed. I will be able to run on the deck of the Disney Magic in a few weeks, I'll just have to walk some of it too.

Anyone else want to become a runner? again? Check out the C25K.

REI or BUST! ::shiny-thing of the day::

I headed home with Jay for the long weekend to CT, where they now have their very own REI! We're going to start backpacking this summer and I've been starting to accumulate some gear. I've been a member of the REI co-op for almost a year now, and just got my member dividend & 20% off coupon and was eager to use it! I have the REI VISA, which means I earn a dividend on all my VISA purchases in addition to the dividend I earn on REI purchases. This year I managed to accumulate $100, not too shabby. REI stocks brand names alongside their own gear. Often the REI gear is cheaper with all the same thought given to the construction of the brand name gear. I got an REI day pack a few months ago that has changed my entire Geocaching experience.

This was my first time a physical REI store. We spent 3 hours scouring the store for gear. I walked away with Asolo hiking boots fitted with Super Feet, an REI sleeping pad, a tech shirt, a Haiku purse to carry on cruise excursions, and a few other minor items. I also decided on the Marmot Angel Fire sleeping bag, but didn't purchase it at the time. I thought I'd be able to find it online for cheaper but haven't as of yet. They didn't have the stove and water filter that we wanted so we'll have to grab those online. I spent quite a bit of money, but I'm really happy with my purchases & can't wait to get on the trails. I definitely need some training first!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I've been obsessed lately with RSS. I use Google Reader and I wish all of my friends did so we could share fascinating stuff with one another and I could endlessly discover new blogs. Topics read by me lately range from craft to politics to finance to food to zen and green living. I also subscribe to several indie shops selling jewelry and softies. I've cut back on my indulgent purchases lately in an effort to curb my debt, but I still like to look at things.

My interest in RSS and blogs eventually brings me to the fact that I want to have an active blog but for some reason I never post. I like stuff and I want to improve my life. I also love taking pictures of things other people probably find it silly to take pictures of & sharing them. Such as everything I create, mainly involving some craft or food. Endless blog fodder!

So why don't I post? I love writing so it isn't that, although I need to work on my tone because I feel pretty cheesy. I suppose I just don't make the time for it. So I'm going to make a goal of it. Maybe at first I'll start with a goal of one post per week. I also want to make a list of goals and post it here. Maybe I'll be encouraged to keep you up to date. I set up Feed Burner today so I can see if anyone is actually interested, I think not so much because I'll be lonely if no one listens, but because I crave statistics. I suppose I do hope for some dialog though!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Pi Day

Lately I've had the itch to bake, and what better excuse than Pi day? I wanted fruit pie, but since everything is out of season nothing sounded particularly appealing. And my boss already claimed raspberry (the best berry).

Jay suggested Derby pie. He had an exam to study for so I baked one for each of us:
2 Cooling Pies

Last year one guy bought pies. This year we were all fired up, QA bought strawberry rhubarb, peach, apple, and a homemade peanut butter. They were all amusingly stacked on the camera racks, I'm bummed I never got a picture. And this is a sampling of the homemade pies brought in by Documentation (key lime, my Derby & raspberry):

Documentation's homemade pies for Pi day

So much for my cruise diet. Hurray for 3.14!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Vietnamese Coffee at Last!

Tonight we had one of the only storms this winter. We planned to meet some friends for pizza making, but never made it. As we backed out of Jay's driveway, we were unable to pull forward. We'd managed only to get further away from our destination. Back and forth we rocked his crappy-in-the-snow-Civic until we managed to get back IN to the driveway. It was a good laugh if nothing else.

We finally found ourselves in a position to make Vietnamese coffee with the press I gifted him on Valentines day LAST year. Better late than never?


It was slow, very slow.


We decided that if it was any good at all we'd have to purchase another press...


It was!