Alex in Transit(ion)

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the regulars.

The war between my laptop and my roommate’s internet router continues. Between my roommate, Boy-I-Fancy, and I- none of us can figure out why my laptop cannot connect to the network. As a result, I am still in exile at the local Starbucks. Even though I looked at this situation in a very negative light as my freelance work depends on having an internet connection, you know, it’s really not that bad anymore! I love looking around and seeing the regulars that come here every single night and the collegiate atmosphere of this place. On one hand, I’m going to miss it, but on the other, I’m pretty excited to move into the new place next week and support my Lark Street coffee shops once more.

Yesterday was pretty awesome. Well, except for the morning, I thought that I had pinkeye. Both of my eyes were bloodshot…and there were other symptoms along with it but I’ll spare you from that. I decided to play it safe and called out of work. When my roommate woke up, I had him look at my eyes, and we determined that whatever I had was caused by wearing my contacts for too long…oops! I have a horrible habit of doing that. I’ll be rocking the Buddy Holly glasses until Saturday, when I’m sure that my peepers are a-ok. 

After receiving that unofficial clean bill o’health from Dr. Roommate, I now found myself with an unexpected day off! I met up with Boy-I-Fancy and we ventured off to Bombers on Lark for Free Burrito Day.

From that point on, everything about yesterday was spectacular and random. I wore a scarf that I got off the clearance rack at Target. It wasn’t exactly my favorite scarf, I like soft scarves and even though the pattern was pretty, the cotton always felt rough on my skin so I hardly wore it. We were getting hungry, however when we were ready to leave, we found that our credit card tab did not meet the minimum charge limit. The bartender gave us a choice: drink more to cover the cost of the tab or she will forgive the tab if I gave her my scarf. I decided that if she really liked it, she could have it. As I said before, I hardly wore it anyway so if someone else will love something more than I will, I’d like to see it go to a new home.

We then walked to New World Bistro Bar with Brian. Brian and I never dined there before but the boy kept raving about the food. It was definitely the most adventurous and for the most part, delicious meal I have had all year! Brian had the Yellow Curry Shrimp and Fat Noodles and Boy and I decided to split two pizzas. We ordered the Evita, which was topped with blood sausage, tomato, mozzarella, and onions, and the Tie Dye Pie, which had four cheeses and Purple Haze sauce. What is Purple Haze sauce you may ask? Let’s just say this: the waitress asked us if we were sure if we really wanted to order it because it was really spicy and the busboy said that he wouldn’t go ten feet of it. We should have listened to the busboy. I couldn’t even get through one slice and I love spicy food! The Boy was a trooper though, he almost got through the whole thing! I have no idea how he did it but we both agreed that we will never eat it ever again. Apparently it was the second spiciest item on the menu…I think I can live without tasting the first spiciest item. The restaurant was great though and I can’t wait to go again!

Today, I finally got the Gardisil shot. I know I’ve been slacking on it since it came out in 2006 but when it first appeared on the scene, there was so much controversy surrounding it about whether or not it was safe and how long the effect would last, so I decided to wait for a little bit. After finding out that my local Planned Parenthood offered the shot for free and seeing that it has been shown to be a reputable and recommended vaccine, I figured why not? On my list of things to experience in life, I can tell you that cervical cancer is not on there so if I can take a step to prevent it, I’ll do it. Especially if it’s free.

I’ll tell you this though if you haven’t received the shot. It is SO PAINFUL. I felt like the needle was going through my bone! The shot is given in three doses over six months and according to my nurse practitioner at Planned Parenthood, all three doses are equally excruciating. But hey, I truly believe that it’s worth it, so girls AND BOYS, if you haven’t received the shot, I suggest that you do.

Until next time, America. 


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things are going great. and they’re only getting better.

Yet first things first, I have an adorable baby cousin and she goes to sleep when I sing Radiohead and Van Morrison to her. If that’s not a win, I don’t know what is.

My life isn’t exactly ideal but I am so happy right now. It only took a year and a half but finally I have a job where I’m doing what I love (hellz yeah researching legislation!) in a city that I absolutely adore. I haven’t had that happen to me since DC. It was simply impossible to wipe the smile off my face today, even though I had to commute two hours to get to work.

Yeah, you read that right. It took me two hours to get to Albany from home this morning. I don’t know how I was able to shave that extra half hour, but I’ll take it! Although it wasn’t without a fail in the beginning. As I was driving into Youngsville, I smiled because I was wearing my favorite suit. Then it hit me:

  • Travel bag? Check.
  • Shower Stuff? Check.
  • Laptop? Check.
  • My suits and dresses that should be hanging from my back seat handlebars but they’re not? Uh-oh.

I wish suits could be wrinkle free so I could put them in my travel bag. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like if I got to Albany without my suits since tunics and leggings aren’t exactly what one wears while working in a law firm. That would have been a nightmare. Speaking of suits…I smell a 30 for 30 feature coming up!

(seriously, 30 for 30 features smell….like Tide because this challenge requires you to keep washing your clothes)

How could I not take a 30 for 30 picture in my brother’s room? It oozes class. Especially with the solo cup on the floor.

Besides the Minnetonka Moccasins, my whole suit is from New York and Company. I love this suit to death. Let’s just put it out there because it’s obvious- I have big boobs. I’m a fan of them but they make life soooo hard when it comes to buying suits. It’s very rare that I will find a button up that won’t give me the dreaded boob gap. Believe it or not, the button up I’m wearing will give me a boob gap unless…I put a vest on. The vest perfectly contains the boob gap and I won’t have to worry about giving anyone a peak at the girls.

I was also lucky to find a parking space near work. The area near the law firm is notorious for being congested when it comes to parking and surprisingly as I was driving into Albany, BOOM! A parking spot appeared. However, I had to put my Metal Gear Solid skills to the test (and let me tell you, those skills are really subpar. I always watched my brothers play while I sat back and enjoyed the storyline). <—-nerd. I had to leave my laptop, travel bag, and my suits in my car and I was so worried that someone was going to break in if I left the bags in plain sight. I wasn’t going to go into work looking like a sherpa because something tells me that it would be frowned upon. So I took out my concert blankets and made my backseat look like something right out of Hoarders so that no one would be tempted to steal my stuff. It worked!

I will leave you with this. Go to Caffe Vero on Lark Street and order a Zulla. It’s mocha coffee and half and half. It sounds simple, but golly, it’s delicious…and they throw in a free heart coffee cloud fo’ free! You can’t beat that in this economy! I almost thought it was too adorable to drink. Then my caffeine addiction grabbed hold and proved me otherwise.


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…it feels like I never left.

But in the meantime, I’ve got it hard

Second floor living without a yard.

It may be years until the day

My dreams will match up with my pay.

-Feist

The deep snow lyric also rings true now.

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Here I am. At the Daily Grind. The first day of work went famously. I’m really interested in what’s going to happen with it. I’ve been fortunate to have received so many professional opportunities to see the different sides of the political world and how they operate. As for being back in Albany, it feels like I never left.

It isn’t NYC. It isn’t DC. I mean after a month in DC, even though I was fucking scared as hell in the beginning, I acted enough like a local that the tourists came up to me to ask for directions…Albany just feels like your favorite comfy couch that you come to and collapse in. Yesterday, a few of my buddies and I went to my favorite bar in Albany, DeJohn’s. I love the atmosphere there because it’s a place where you can just chill out. From the outside, it looks pretentious, but as soon as you step inside the bar, you realize it’s not the case. The waitstaff still knows who you are, even after not being there for a while, and they’re more than happy to serve you and treat you like a normal human being. I personally think it’s Albany’s version of Cheers. You also cannot go with $2 drafts for Happy Hour. I took my first extended trip on CDTA today and I learned that just because a sign says “bus stop” doesn’t mean the bus will actually stop at that sign. Yet, finally the bus gods gave me a break and I made a few friends. Found out the girl sitting next to me shares the same birthday with me. I’m going to be meeting up with some friends tonight, however there are still a whole lot of people I have yet to see. I’m leaving for home straight after work tomorrow. I will be back next week though and hey, once the apartment comes into place, things will get easier and more stable!

On Monday, I wrote that I felt self-conscious about taking pictures for 30 for 30. But hey- it was my first day of work today and I was feeling pretty awesome because I was getting paid to do things again. Needless to say, I threw my self-conscious feelings out the window.

Long Sleeve White Tee from Kohl’s

Grey Dress by H&M

Black Sweater Tights by American Eagle

Slouchy Ankle Booties from JCPenney

Belt by Forever 21

Bobby Pin with Small Flowers by H&M

This is my favorite work outfit. I love this dress, I always get compliments on it. It was only $34 when I bought it last March. I’m still trying to figure out how to pose, I had to use self timer because I felt awkward asking my friend about taking an outfit picture. He’s already letting me stay at his pad for the week. He doesn’t need to do anything more for me =D

(Writer’s Note: At this point, I stopped writing because I met up with my pal Marc from the lovely music blog Cautious and Carefree.)

Friday, February 4th, 2011

What a lovely night! The gang was (almost) reunited but it still felt so good! As I mentioned before, I met up with my friend Marc and we visited his roommate, who I refer to as my other dad, who works at Caffe Vero on Lark Street. Go on and give it a try when you find yourself in the Albany area! I will bet you my bottom dollar that my other dad will give you the best service ever! Just look for the ever-changing facial hair and that’s him!

I do my best to patronize both Caffe Vero and The Daily Grind. They’re both great local coffee shops but even though my other dad is employed there, I do find myself going to the Daily Grind more. Caffe Vero is new and opened while I was in Potsdam. The Daily Grind has been in Albany for years. My relationships with the baristas there are similar to the relationship one has with his or her favorite bartender. In November, I visited the Daily Grind with my former boyfriend and Ed, one of my favorite baristas, said “you’re back!” after four months of not being a regular. Today, he asked me if I found a new job yet and I was delighted to say yes and I haven’t seen him for two months. Also- the Sunday crowd is outstanding. I end up bumping into Jim, a local musician, there and he always introduces me to all of his friends who are truly fascinating people. I haven’t had a chance to experience the community at Caffe Vero yet but I hope that will change once I move back to Albany. Besides, I can’t let my dad down =D

It was casual Friday at the office today. I wore jeans for the first time in a month and four days.

Here’s the outfit breakdown:

A white drapey cardigan from PacSun (wore it on Tuesday)

A floral tank top from Kohl’s (also wore that on Tuesday)

A scarf from Maxwell’s, a local variety shop in Oneonta. Seriously they have everything from really cute scarves to CDs to tapestries to an extensive bowl collection to porn.

Jeans from American Eagle

Socks from Walmart*

Moccasins by Minnetonka

A daisy hair clip from Claire’s

Belt from Gap

CDTA almost missed me today. I was standing at the bus stop and I saw the bus start to pass me. The driver ended up stopping at the next block and told me that if I didn’t have my CDTA card in my hand, he would have passed me.

Now- if the driver wasn’t such a nice guy, I would have been really pissed because I would have been late for work. I still can’t understand why a bus driver wouldn’t stop when he sees someone at a bus stop but who knows. All I know is that I’m lucky I even had the CDTA card in my hand because my friend D gave it to me two months ago and I found it in at the bottom of my purse a hour before I was standing at the stop. The ride home was a lot smoother- actually it was really touching. I noticed a really old man get on the bus who looked a lot like my Grandfather who passed away almost five years ago. Not only that, he acted a lot like him too. My grandfather was the kind of guy who was friends with everyone. When I saw the old man greet the CDTA driver by shaking his hand, saying that he hasn’t seen him drive in a while and laughed with him over a joke- I had to keep myself from shedding a few tears. My grandpa would have done the same thing. I saw him do that all the time to others. He didn’t care if you were a janitor or a big shot, he treated everyone like they were his best friend. The old man was even wearing a Members Only jacket, just like my Grandpa did. It was just a stark reminder that yeah, people really do care about other people in this world, even if you think your part is small. We all have an effect on each other. I hope we all can make it a positive one.

I’m back in Sullivan County for the weekend. But I’ll be back “home” on Monday =D


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I love to hate the Keurig.

I hate to love the Keurig.

My roommate had one in college and it was ridiculously convenient- that machine is capable of making delicious, gourmet coffee in a matter of a minute. It was handy too because sometimes I was the only one who wanted a cup of coffee and I didn’t have to worry about wasting a pot. I can’t tell you how many times that machine fueled my all nighters. My mom and my stepdad recently purchased one and I’m not going to lie, it’s one of my favorite things in our kitchen because it suits our fast paced lifestyle with two toddlers running amok in the house.

There’s two things I hate about the Keurig though. The K Cups are so delicious but what bothers me is the waste that they create. My family easily goes through 6 K Cups every single day. Green Mountain Coffee, the company who owns Keurig, has stated on their website that they are trying to develop an environmentally friendly K Cup. Some Keurig fans have said that the machine is more environmentally friendly than going to a coffee shop and they may have a point. When I make coffee with a Keurig at home, I use a mug or a thermos, and I stir the coffee with a spoon. All of those things, excluding the K Cup, I can easily wash and reuse. When I go to a coffee shop, 8 out of 10 times, I usually don’t have my thermos with me, so I have to get a paper cup, which requires a paper coffee sleeve, and I have to use a wooden stirrer. Although these paper products are recyclable and K Cups are not- if you don’t throw the paper products in a recycling bin, then you’re just sending them to the landfill along with the K Cups.

Although Keurig offers My K-Cup, a reusable filter that allows you to use your own ground coffee with the Keurig, it is horrible. My family and I have it and every time we’ve tried to use it, the coffee tastes horrible. Which brings me to my next point- like I stated before, the K Cups are delicious but I really enjoy support local businesses and buying their beans (like the Daily Grind). Maybe it’s because my family owns a restaurant and I have that ingrained in me- but even if it is a little more expensive, I like knowing that my money is going to support a family rather than a corporation. Since the My K-Cup can’t give you a good cup of coffee, you can’t support your local coffee shop, so the only choice you have is to buy the K Cups if you want to get your money’s worth out of your machine.

By the way- I feel like I must rant. If you live on Lark Street and you drink Dunkin Donuts, all I have to say is shame on you. Honestly, that’s the biggest eyesore on Lark Street. You want coffee? Go to Daily Grind or Caffe Lena. And Starbucks is fucking rip off…but that’s on State Street anyway.

Ok. Let’s steer this entry in the right direction. I’m going to be in the market for a coffee maker once I get a new job and move back to Albany. I never had my own coffee maker before- my roommates either had one or when I lived in Albany last year, I drank Yerba Mate because I wanted to reduce my coffee intake. Yet it never gave me the same satisfaction as enjoying a cup of coffee. I think it’s because coffee has a thicker body than Yerba Mate.I was going to buy an actual coffee maker but then the campaign whisked me away and I found myself being a regular at the Stewart’s in Potsdam. I don’t know whether I want a Keurig or a regular coffee maker- even after I lined out my own pluses and deltas. The Keurig is so convenient and always produces an amazing cup of coffee yet I hate feeling like I’m destroying the earth with my K Cup waste and I feel so limited with the coffee choices.

Stay tuned. Once I get a job, I’m going to have to make the decision shortly after. I just promise not to make this decision as self-absorbed as LeBron James’ decision was.