Sunday, April 29, 2018

Life Lately | April

It feels a little odd to sit down and intentionally write about life after not having done so in so long. Though I've posted a few times this month to share weekend travels and the last few months have been full of local and not-so-local adventures, it's been a while since I'm done a long winded life roundup. This is more so for the people who know me IRL; for everyone else, feel free to just look at the photos above and skim the section headers (I read all the comments -- I know what the people like).

Work //

My 90-day introductory period ended at the beginning of the month, and I'm honestly a little in shock that I have already been working at my job for four months. Though there are aspects of my job that I don't like -- we're currently in conference-planning mode and wrangling all the speakers can be, shall we say, difficult at times -- I largely enjoy what I do, and the weeks pass quickly. Passing my 90-day intro also means my employee benefits kick in, and so while my take home pay is smaller now, it also means I'm saving for retirement and have life insurance. 

Travel //

As mentioned last month, I didn't travel outside of the D.C./NOVA area in March, but I made it out two weekend in a row in April (still didn't leave Virginia). The first overlapped with Earth Day weekend, and I spent Saturday in Shenandoah National Park hiking with two friends. I loved being able to get out of the hustle and bustle of D.C. and get lost (but not lost lost) in nature for a couple hours with two people I've enjoyed getting to know in the last few months. We've bonded over the fact that we're all new to the area -- at four months I've been here the longest -- and it's nice to talk to people who find much of D.C. as strange as I still do. The next weekend I drove down to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg to see a friend from home. We spent the day riding coasters and avoiding high school chorus groups, and it was a fun day to catch up on life in Raleigh and get some thrills in.

D.C. //

Though I left D.C. twice, I also spent ample time seeing more of the city. I visited the famous (and infamous) cherry blossoms twice, cafe-hopped for a day in AdMo, and spent many mornings before work criss-crossing D.C. neighborhoods to get a better feel of the city's geography. There are still plenty of unexplored areas for me to discover, but I'm getting a better picture of which neighborhoods touch borders beyond just a glance at a map.

Personal life //

I've said each month since moving how happy I am to have landed in D.C., but this month confirmed how truly thankful I am to be here. It takes a few months for friendships to progress past the surface level, but four months in I feel like I have the foundations for solid friendships. My biggest fear in moving away from Raleigh, the city I've lived in nearly my entire life, was how lonely I was going to be, but thankfully that hasn't happened. I stayed in D.C. over Easter weekend and didn't need to worry about spending the holiday alone -- three people invited me to their Easter dinners, and I ate the afternoon away with new friends in a fancy house in Georgetown. I've spent each weekend with friends grabbing lunch, having movie nights, or volunteering with church groups, and while I miss my NC friends, I've been able to make a number of new ones.

Books //

Full disclosure: I was planning on doing a "recent reads" roundup like I usually do, but when I sat down to write it late last week I just... didn't want to. So it's getting included here.

Three of my favorite books from the last month:

The Complete Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino
Strange yet beautiful. Calvino takes complex scientific concepts and personifies them; the characters are in the forms of everything -- amoeba, planets, stars, animals. He tells of how everything came to be largely through the viewpoint of a being called Qfwfq, though what exactly Qfwfq is changes story by story. This is a collection well worth reading through slowly.

Sunshine State by Sarah Gerard
I was expecting this to be a series of essays about growing up in Florida with general statements about Floridian culture thrown in, but instead Sunshine State is a fascinating series of essays on specific topics -- homelessness, Amway, house hunting, etc -- with Gerard's personal history of the topic used as context. The essays are quite long, and the ones that I didn't have a personal connection with I found harder to get into.

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
Beautifully, simply written. An unassuming, impactful, introspective tale written from the perspective of a woman in the hospital following a health complication, and the thoughts that run through her head.

Also loving  //

Killing Eve
BBC America's newest show about an assassin and the MI-6 operative assigned to catch her. I am in love with this one; Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer are excellent as the leads, and it's equally thrilling and funny.

A Marvel show for adults -- Legion follows David Haller (played by Dan Stevens), one of the lesser known X-Men mutants whose powers include physic abilities, as he comes to terms with his powers after spending his whole life thinking he's schizophrenic. The first season felt a lot like Inception in that the lines between what's real and what's in David's head were blurred, but the second season has played out much more straightforwardly. Whether this is a good or bad move remains to be seen, but for now I'm enjoying the continuing plotline.

Vida Noir by Lord Huron
After being a casual Lord Huron fan for years, Vida Noir has turned my occasional tuning in into a full blown love. The album was inspired by the lead singer's late night drives through Los Angeles, and knowing the story behind the songs helps create a certain mood whilst listening to it. Personal favorites include "Ancient Names (I & II)," "The Balancer's Eye," "When the Night is Over," and "Vida Noir."

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