Wednesday, November 20, 2013

5 in 1 blog: The #ROC, The Lizzie, The Y, The iPhone and The Birthday

Life has gotten a little crazy lately.

I've been splitting my time between Albany and Rochester. My Albany days are consumed by the drive, hitting the road before dawn, spending the night, then coming back around 9 or 10 p.m. the next day. On the road I've been playing the license plate game. I have six states left: Hawaii, West Virginia, Wyoming, South Carolina, North Dakota and Nevada.

While I'm in Rochester, every moment I'm not working, I'm cleaning, packing or running around town dealing with the logistics of the move.

I'm in Rochester through the weekend. Most everything is done now, so I can finally relax a bit.

As I'm shuttling back and forth, I've written a dozen blog posts in my head, only to find myself too exhausted when I get home to get them in type.

So here's a potpourri of sorts, little things that have been floating around in my head that I've been anxious to get down.


(Cross posted from Capital New York's anticipations, coming out Friday)

After college, I lived in a series of small towns. Then one day I'm sitting at my desk in Newark, Ohio (somewhere between Columbus and I-77) when Len, a former editor and mentor, called me up and told me about an opportunity in Rochester, New York.

Rochester was my first experience in a bigger city, getting to be a young professional in a place with a culture of young professionals. I have loved living there: The unique neighborhoods, the culture, the recreation, the friends I've made. 

It's my last weekend in the Roc, and I have a long list of "lasts" I'd like to get in: Last run around the South Wedge and Park Avenue, last dog walk around Corn Hill, last trip to the public market, last drink at Tap and Mallet, last cup of loose leaf tea at Boulder Coffee Company.

I'm going to dodge weekend Pittsford traffic, where I'll give Rochester's beloved grocery chain Wegmans a sizable portion of my paycheck to stock up on some of their more unique goodies, have another eyes-bigger-than-stomach moment at the Food Bar and grab a couple cases of Finger Lakes vino from Century Pittsford Wines.

(At least I can find Bully Hill in Albany.)


Another move has left me wanting some stability in my life. Albany is appealing because I see opportunities there for not just now, but five or ten years down the road. 

In 2008 I was volunteering at Maine Greyhound Placement Service. I opened a crate and a spotted blur of energy bounded out and bulleted around the building. It broke my heart to put her back inside, so I ultimately brought her home and named her Pulitzer, which would shorten to Lizzie over the years.

Since then life has changed rapidly. A lot of things, people and jobs have come in and out of my life. I lost my first best friend, Gigi, to cancer in 2011. Lately when I look at Lizzie, I appreciate her for being my constant through all of this. I adopted her as an obnoxious and assertive two-year-old, but she's matured into a very intelligent, friendly and loyal dog, while still maintaining her spunky personality that you can't help but love. 

Lizzie is very independent, and a natural leader. On our walks she takes the lead, scanning for both warm-blooded snacks and danger alike. At home, her prized possession is a yellow and green ball. Sometimes I think she's determined to destroy it, but after playtime she always tucks it back in her crate for safe keeping. 

We recently took in a second, Brandy, who my sister had to give up because my nephew was allergic. They get along great together. Brandy is very shy, and Lizzie enjoys having a younger sister to look after and protect. 


(Adapted and crossposted from an email I sent to the Rochester YMCA instructors.)

I first got into teaching at the Licking County Family YMCA after I befriended my spin instructor. When I moved to Rochester, I instead signed on to one of the corporate gyms.

The difference was stark. People didn't bother to learn your names. Learning member names wasn't encouraged. The classes were so big! The staff wasn't as friendly.

In February I did an indoor triathlon at the Rochester Carlson MetroCenter YMCA. Lucky for me, the executive director counted my laps on the track, and this led to me being hired on as an instructor. 

The Y is a special place because it's a family. Everyone is friendly and social. Wherever you go, you can count on getting a clean, kept and unintimidating environment. 

I immediately reached out to the Albany YMCA when I found out I was moving, and I'm excited to announce that I've been hired as a sub at the North Albany branch. My availability is limited to early mornings and weekends, but I'm excited that I'll be able to continue. Like they've been at every Y I've encountered, the people there are passionate, kind and friendly. 


When I handed my iPhone 4 back to Gannett, it had a cracked screen. Or—and I shamelessly stole this phrase from a guy at the bike shop—the spiderweb app was permanently installed. 

I recently got a new cell phone plan. I started with the iPhone 5C (pink), but it just felt flimsy. The GPS lagged, and I couldn't find a good case. I traded it in, coughed up the extra $100, and got the 5S.

So far I'm really happy with it. It has one major shortcoming, the voice recorder that comes with the phone is really finicky, but today I downloaded a free app that does a much better job. It also decided to import everyone I've ever emailed or Facebooked into my contacts, and deleting those has been a slow process.

In between knowing myself, and what happened to my last iPhone, I had to cover my bases. I first found out about Lifeproof cases during a commercial break of the Ironman world championship. The commercial screamed my name, it showed phones getting dropped and abused.

One month in and the $40 case has already payed for itself. I'm incapable of not dropping my phone. I'm tempted to chuck it into the bathtub with all my strength to see if the case can live up to its advertising. But... I'm scared.

However, since it is supposed to be waterproof, I'd like to see if there are any interactive swimming apps to time laps (leaving the phone on deck). 


I turn 30 in 15 days. 


That is all. 

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