June 5, 2013

Patchie [Checks In]

So I pretty much hard core failed at updating for most of May, didn't I? It was a super busy month. It was so busy it felt like the entire month was compressed in one week, and I still haven't done any laundry since before my birthday (whoops). It was a whirlwind, but it was an awesome month. June is quickly filling up, too. I am very bad at not planning a hundred things to do on my weekends in the summer.

But you know what? Life experiences and all that. If I ever settle down and have a family, I'll be glad I did all this when I was younger. Or something. Maybe. I don't know.

The furloughs were extended for another month, and I'm determined to not plan things on the two days I have them scheduled for unless that plan involves making money (a photo shoot or some such). I've neglected a lot. See: laundry above. Or any resemblance of cleaning.

At least for the most part my weeknights are free, and I'm doing my best to enjoy the nice summer weather while I can, because that too-hot-to-function summer weather is sneaking up on us fast. At that point, I will need to find a friend with a pool.

I'll have a proper update soon. In theory.

May 14, 2013

Patchie [Purchases]

See those leggings? I think I'm officially addicted. I went from owning nothing to 3 pairs from Black Milk in about two months. They are my new clothing obsession.
Our furloughs are coming to an end shortly, and I really feel like I've used them to my advantage - managing to get a lot done on some of them and then managing to get out and do something on others. On May Day I went up to Annapolis and wandered around with Alex and Alexi. The weather was simply gorgeous and since it was in the middle of the week it wasn't crowded. Maybe next spring I'll take some random days off so I can enjoy them this way - it was certainly a nice change of pace.
I love Annapolis. The charm is like one of my little towns on The Cape. People are friendly and it's impossible to get bad food while you are there. They also have a pretty awesome wine bar, but we did not hit it this trip. Next time!
Oh! Also? Bought myself an early birthday present - a 35mm 1.8 lens. All these pictures were taken using it. I am in love.

Love these girls, too. I wish we all lived closer so we could see each other more, but we have been doing a good job at making sure we don't go too long between visits anymore. This month we are seeing each other a lot. I love it!
Also? That hat? They talked me into it. I may have a shopping problem.

May 11, 2013

Patchie [Shoots]

The Southern Maryland Celtic Festival remains a favorite an a staple of my spring. this year was no exception, and the weather was downright perfect. I managed to take plenty of shots and bump into plenty of people I knew. I love being a part of the faire crowd so much that I can't go to anything anymore without seeing at least a dozen people I know. It makes me so happy!

I also managed to snag a lot of pictures for Patchie [Photography]. Last year I went and shot and in hindsight uploaded some. This year I went in hoping I'd catch some winners, and even though the sun was super strong (which makes for harsh shadows), I think I did pretty well!

(Note: the photo quality is better on the photo page itself...I've had to switch back to uploading pictures via google because my flickr is pretty much out of storage space and I don't want to pay for it.)

May 10, 2013

Patchie [Wins!]

Waaaay back in February, on a whim I entered a photography contest to win tickets to see Breakfast at Tiffany's on Broadway. What did I have to lose, right?

Apparently nothing. Because I won.

I hadn't been on Broadway since before I got my theatre degree, and back then I used to go every 3 months or so. I'd see as many shows as I could cram into the few days I was there and then head home, happy to have a few more broadway shows under my belt and already gearing up for the next round. The last time I did that was 2005. I'd been to NYC since then, but nowhere near Broadway (but I did see some fantastic sights I had never seen before - that quick jaunt was pretty wonderful, too).

(Quick side note: I know I had less bills & responsibilities back then, but I also made significantly less money. New York has tripled in price, I'm convinced. How did I used to afford it? Holy crap. Anyways.)

I grabbed The Boy's grandmother because she was able to go up midweek (the stipulation on the tickets) and we made a 3-day trip out of it. We went to Central Park, Fifth Avenue, Rockefeller Center, and of course Times Square. We ate at Wolfgang's Restaurant holy delicious, Batman) and we got into my favorite little pizza joint that was renovated out of an old church, and it still have all the stained glass and original lighting fixtures. We ate more cupcakes than I should admit. Actually - I don't care. We ate a lot of cupcakes. I was on vacation!

Warning: I'm about to get theatre-rambly about the shows we saw. Skip down 3 paragraphs if you'd like to skip it.

The first night we saw the revival of Jekyll & Hyde with Constantine and Deborah Cox and we sat in the fourth row. There were things I loved about the original script/score and there were things I absolutely hated, and this version seemed to change most of what I hated (although they also changed a few things I loved but you can't win them all). The production itself? Eh. I think Constantine did a fairly good job - I liked his quiet obsession over The Hoff's batshit insanity and I think a lot of people didn't notice it because it was very subtle - we were so close we could see the smaller moments he was having. His phasing, however, was pretty bad. Deborah Cox should have never been cast. And that's nothing against her talent because she is very talented, she just wasn't right. Her accent was ridiculous and then she sounded like the R&B singer she is during her songs with zero accent. Meh. The other female lead, Teal Wicks (who played Emma), was by far the highlight. She was fantastic. The costumes were awesome. The concept of the set I liked. And, mini-rant: I kind of hate projections in theatre. I think they are putting a lot of talented scenic painters out of work and I think they are lazy. I will admit however, that I have seen them used very well (the tour of Les Mis did this). This show? They were awful. I hate every second of them. They kind of ruined it for me. "Confrontation" was the biggest atrocity I've ever seen and a total cop-out. Overall grade: B -. I did enjoy it, but I could pick it apart pretty easily.

The Second Night we saw Breakfast at Tiffany's. I almost don't want to write anything. Take the worst show you've ever seen. Multiply it by 3. Now add 6. Now multiply that by 4 more. Now give it a ridiculous budget. It. Was. Awful. And it was all the script and the director. I don't blame the actors - as far as I could tell all the things I absolutely hated were director choices. Emilia was very good but her character choices were strange (direction), and Cory Smith, lord was he trying, but just had nothing to work with (direction). George Wendt was George Wendt. He was great, but his role was very small. The script, if it was 100 pages, was about 89 pages too long. The play was 2 1/2 hours. It could have been a one act. It kept repeating itself, to the point where I got up to use the restroom at the beginning of a scene (which I never do), took my time, came back at the beginning of the next scene, and it didn't matter that I was gone because they spent that entire scene recapping the one I just missed. It wasn't funny, but it sure as hell tried to be. There was a completely gratuitous nude bathtub scene that was utterly pointless, and if you ever see me in person ask me about the horse-riding scene, because it was downright absurd. High school students could direct something better than that scene. Also - shocker - the scene didn't move the plot forward. Grade: F - . However, I met Emilia Clarke at the stage door, and she was super adorable and sweet and she signed my playbill. So: worth it. I am a Game of Thrones nerd.

We wound up having to catch a much later train on Wednesday than we had originally planned which left us time to see a matinee. We hit up TKTS (which runs so much smoother than it used to - bravo), and nailed some 10th-row seats to see Once. Guys...I am still speechless. I'm getting goose bumps just thinking about it, and this show was a month ago. It was funny and witty and beautiful and simple. The cast was amazing. I can not pick one thing about this show apart and I can not remember the last show I could say that about, or if I've ever been able to say it. Grade: A+ times a billion.

Oh, and Once? If you have orchestra seating and you get there early enough, you can have your pre-show drinks on stage. And during that time, the cast comes out and jams for 3 - 4 songs (if you don't know, the cast plays all the instruments during the show. It's wonderful). So I stood on a Broadway stage and got an up-close-and-personal performance by a Broadway cast. That alone was worth every dime I spent over those three days.

I'm already trying to plan another trip. I forgot how much I adore that city and I forgot how much I adore Broadway. You can't keep me away another 8 years - I've been re-bit by the bug.

April 22, 2013

Patchie [Reads]

I had a pretty fantastic weekend, and even managed to turn lemons into lemonade - a cancelled appointment turned into a rather enjoyable morning enjoying Starbucks & starting a new script down by the water. Yes, I bought a script in NYC last week purely because it was described as "a comedy about a group of knitters."

Also, NYC was awesome but that's another post for another day, when I feel like getting detailed. This Monday morning is not that day. Instead, I will sit here in my windowless office and look at this picture, thankful for the outside time I had yesterday. I love spring.

April 14, 2013

Patchie [Lists]

I'm a little over a month away from my birthday and I revisited my 26 Before 27 list. Guess what? Totally not going to accomplish all of them. But you know what else? That's okay. I accomplished quite a few (and more, which I didn't list), and that's just fine enough for me! I'll definitely be doing another list for next year!

1.       Watch a sunrise. Accomplished! Ocean City, March 2013.

2.       Visit a new Renaissance Faire/Faerie Festival : Okay, technically Steampunk, but I went to Steampunk Gettysburg!

3.       Learn Intarsia  This I haven't even touched besides colorwork on alternating rows. I really need to learn this.

4.       Bake a layered cake  Nope.

5.       Really, really plan my get-out-of-the-country trip I have this narrowed down and I have a backup plan if a bigger plan falls through. So at least I made progress?

6.       Visit a new city/state. Atlanta back in September was new, and as you are reading this I am in Philly, which is also new!

7.       Go to DC for a day and only do things I’ve never done before I've done a lot of things in DC this year that I hadn't done before, but not on the same day. Half accomplished?

8.       Start taking/doing yoga again Besides the little bit I do in my basement after running, money put a serious damper on this one.

9.       Reteach myself how to sew. Done! I made a dress and a skirt!

10.   Knit for Charity. I knit a couple chemo caps. Done!

11.   Get my passport. Siiiigh. I know. I'm just procrastinating at this point.

12.   Learn to contact juggle. I started, then had to take a break. This doesn't look like it's going to get picked up before May 19. I am just too busy.

13.   Take a random day trip I can't decide what I meant by this, because all of my day trips are pretty random. But I did take a random weekend trip to Williamsburg AND Ocean City, so I'm going to say accomplished? I suppose Steampunk Gettysburg was a random day trip.

14.   Purge purge purge. I still have a long way to go, but I made a dent!

15.   Complete a 30-day photo challenge  Nope.

16.   Get better at makeup-y/hair things. Yes! But there's always room for improvement!

17.   Get back to NC! Done! Visited some old friends on the way home from Atlanta!

18.   Have a weekend getaway with The Boy I had two - Williamsburg and Winchester! And I may have a third in May!

19.   Organize a costumed photoshoot for Patchie [Photography] I organized one and then it was cancelled by the costumer. But I take so many costumed pictures I'm going to count this as a win.

20.   Lose some weight! 8lbs and counting!

21.   Read 5 books. Done! 3 Hunger Games books, and 2 knitting books. This was harder to accomplish than it should have been.

22.  Set up an Etsy shop. No, but I have strong plans in the works to sell my photography. More on that when it happens.

23. Go to a new non-faire/faerie related festival/convention. Dragon*Con, Katsucon, DC Pride, and I still have AwesomeCon.

24. Stash bust. I started, but then I filled it right back up again. Whoops.

25. Cook more often. Yes! I cook at least 2 - 3 times a week right now (and am being cooked for almost all of the other days, between my mom and the Boy.)

26. Continue to learn my camera. I'm going to say yes, but like the hair/makeup I still have a lot I could learn. I need to make this more specific next year.

Okay...I've done more than I thought! And frankly, I don't think I'll get to the others before May 19. So...16 1/2 out of 26? That's not awful. I'll have to be more specific about things for next year (and repeat a couple from this year, it looks like). It does make me feel a little accomplished though!

April 10, 2013

Patchie [Knits]

Just showing off another finished knit, just in time for it to be 90*. Seriously. We went from snow to 90* in about 14 days. The wonders of the Mid Atlantic.

I am SUPER excited for the coming week - I have my first ever 5K on Saturday, Sunday I'm heading to Philly for the night, and then Monday through Wednesday I'll be in New York City! I won tickets to see Breakfast at Tiffany's based off of a picture I submitted. I haven't been back to Broadway since I got my theatre degree, and even though this show is getting pretty dismal reviews I'm just excited to be seeing a Broadway show for the first time in 8 years. I got spoiled and was going every three months for awhile there - this has been too long! I'm hoping it lights a fire in me to start trying to head up there more often - even if it's just for a quick overnight.

Also, the weather finally broke and we're into spring. It feels so good to drive around with the windows down! Here's hoping to a long spring, a short summer, and an early fall!

April 4, 2013

Patchie [Listens]

A couple weeks ago I was sitting in a bar with a couple friends and they threw it on the table that they were going to Ocean City for the weekend for one of their birthdays, and I should come. Ocean City is not my favorite place, but I love these two. And you know what is my favorite place? The ocean. So while the trip didn't win me over for OC, I was able to fall asleep and wake up to the sound of the waves pounding the beach, and I saw my sunrise for the year. We had a blast for my friends birthday and I was able to smell the salt air and watch the water. Worth it? Totally.

I wish it was easier for us to get to the ocean more often - we are surrounded by water but it takes over 3 1/2 hours to get to any sort of beach. But trust me - each trip to the ocean means so much to me. Maybe I'll get there again before my annual Cape trip this year!

April 2, 2013

Patchie [Shares]

To The Boy:

Today we turn three. I will totally admit that I had a moment last week where I had to think about whether it was three years or four, because I'm bad about numbers and math is hard. We also had a pretty lengthy conversation at some point this year trying to remember if our anniversary was the 2nd or 3rd, because that Leap Year really screwed things up. But here I am at year three, and three years ago Good Friday was April 2nd, and that's when we went to see the Cherry Blossoms the first time. April 2nd.

 It's been quite the year. You found a new job and are balancing that and the recording, I'm still a dispatcher and I've done a bit more with my photography and am finding more events to go to that gets my name out there. It feels like not a lot has changed, but when I went looking for pictures for this post I realized how much we've done in the last year. Mountains and oceans and cities and vineyards. Going out and staying in. Being social, but also finding out evenings to hide inside, cook a nice dinner, and snuggle with the dog and each other while we watch a movie or tv show and fall asleep earlier than we should be admitting in our 20's. I think those nights are my favorite...us, the dog, and a bunch of gold miners in Alaska.

It still amazes me everyday how well you get me. You will do anything to make me smile, and you always succeed. Sometimes you know that my crazy just needs to run its course, and you step back and let me do my thing and when I come out the other side apologizing, you remind me you love me and that the crazy is part of me, and you love that too. You support absolutely everything I do from the big things down to the little. You remind me you're proud of me because you know I need to hear it. You applaud me for the choices I make which means more to me than you know, because I've spent my entire life having every choice questioned and it has made me do the same.
Sometimes it's still hard because we aren't under the same roof. We go days without seeing each other because we both keep busy and it isn't always the same busy. Thank you for trusting me to be out doing those things the same way that I trust you, because it makes us stronger. I know the time apart makes seeing each other mean that much more, but I can't wait until it isn't an issue anymore, and every night we're coming home to one another. Waking up next to you is my favorite part of the day.
You're my goof, my bright spot, my rock, and my best friend. You're the one who I can always count on, no matter what. Our inside jokes are the funniest, and you read my mind the best. You laugh at my jokes and random comments before I've even realized what's come out of my mouth half the time. You're the one I can still talk to for hours on end. You'll let me ramble on and work things out on my own when I need to, and intervene when I don't.
Three years later, you still want to hold my hand. You still kiss me on the forehead and rub my knee when it hurts. Three years later you still offer me the last bite of dessert, last sip of wine, and bigger piece of bacon. Three years later, and you still make sure I know how much you love me every day. Thank you for the smiles, the laughs, the tears of joy, and for making my heart feel so full every day that I think it may burst. The world is in front of us, and we will conquer it together forever. We are rich, my love. We have each other.

March 28, 2013

Patchie [Vacations] - Winchester, VA

At the beginning of the month The Boy and I went out to Winchester, VA for our annual weekend getaway. The past two years we went to Luray but we weren't able to get the same hotel deal that we had gotten in the past and we were on a much tighter budget this year, so Living Social came to the rescue!

The town is cute, but had a lot of construction going on so it was lacking a lot of its charm for that reason. The best thing that Winchester had over Luray was the fact that we could walk to multiple places from the hotel and had more options. However, I stick to my opinion that the food was always better in Luray. But it was nice to stroll around a new little town! We hit a couple pubs and saw a local band out first night in town.

And it's us, so we hit a couple little vineyards along the way as well - Chrysalis, Veramar, Twin Oaks, and Otium. Chrysalis had an amazing tasting and was probably all around our favorite (and is the closest - we want to go back for a day trip!). Veramar was a nice stop for a light lunch, and Twin Oaks was crazy charming and had the best view. We actually spent a few hours here talking with one of the employees about all sorts of things. Otium was where we spent the most time - it was on a horse farm and we actually wound up staying there until late in the evening and made a lot of new friends. Loudoun County will receive more visits from us. There are so many vineyards!

Also? We went to a casino in West Virginia since it was only about 25 minutes away. I am not a casino person. Like, at all. I think we lasted twenty minutes total. I just don't get the appeal. I'd rather spend my money a hundred different ways. Anyone ever been or feel inclined to tell me why they are so popular?

Even though we definitely prefer Luray (I think we like feeling "in" the mountains more - Winchester is a very large valley), this trip was still a total success!

March 18, 2013

Patchie [Knits]

Just taking a moment from sneezing and blowing my nose uncontrollably to share one of those finished knitting projects I was talking about. The pattern is The Foliage Hat, and you can find my project page here. The Boy took the picture, because when I remember to ask him he's awesome and will do it with no questions asked. 

I had a great St. Patrick's Day, and I hope you did too. We spent it pretty low key hanging out at the National Harbor with another couple, bar hopping and eating and catching up. 

I'm trying to push myself harder to I'm better prepared for this 5K in less than a month, but this head cold I can't seem to kick is putting serious dampers on those plans.

I suppose that's all that is new at the moment. I went through the pictures from Winchester over the weekend, so hopefully I can share those soon!

March 14, 2013

Patchie [Enjoyed]

The Boy and I went out to Winchester, VA this past weekend for our annual little getaway. The last two years we went to Luray, but the cards didn't fall into place this year. Plus we got a Living Social deal that was too good to pass up, so we thought we'd try someplace new!

I hope to share some of the better pictures I took once I manage to edit them, but until then here's some instagram pictures!

We met some pretty fantastic people almost everywhere we went, and I learned I am very much not a casino person. Also, even though there was snow on the ground it stayed around 60 degrees. That part rocked. We also both decided that while we really enjoyed this past weekend, we prefer Luray and will hopefully head back that way next year.

(Hopefully) I'll be posting more soon!

March 6, 2013

Patchie [Snowquesters]

Happy snow day!!!

We're getting hit here with slushy wet snow, and I lucked out...this was my first furlough day. Also, The Boy has the day off too! It's gone from a day where I was going to attempt to be productive to a day of watching movies together and knitting. Currently he's playing piano and bacon is frying.

Yep. It's a good Wednesday.

March 3, 2013

Patchie [Photographs]

Dear Katsucon,

It was lovely meeting you. I wasn't originally going to introduce myself...you're an anime convention. The closest I get to anime was enjoying an episode of Cowboy Bebop about 8 years ago, having a couple Bleach characters burned into my brain from a college Halloween party, and being able to sort of name most of the original Pokemon (although to be brutally honest, it sounds a lot more like this these days). I was also going to be going out of town, which made it a little hard to attend. You know how that goes.

But then plans changed and with you being so close to home I figured...why not. I found out I could go as a photographer and still see so much without having to actually pay to get in, and I was sold. I had never gone to a con before without dressing up and only armed with my camera. I walked in and boy was I surprised. So many Whovians! So much Adventure Time! ...Power Rangers? Is that considered anime? Wow, clearly I have not kept up with that one. They went to space, or something? Wasn't everyone they fought from space to begin with? Why did that warrant a costume change? And why was no one there dressed at the Pink Ranger? I SHOULD CORNER THAT MARKET.

Back on topic. Photography. Thank you for giving me the chance to just approach people out of the blue to ask for pictures - that is not my strong suit because for some reason I still randomly become shy. I got some great shots. I also saw more people that I knew than I thought I would which was a nice surprise. I even got to catch up with a friend over lunch

Worth it? Absolutely. Although I think next year, you've convinced me to dress for it. I just can't seem to resist anymore.

So thank you for a great impromptu Saturday!


  (you can find the entire album here)

March 1, 2013

Patchie [Loses]

Look! I'm updating! Even though I feel like someone replaced my brain with a 30 pound bowling ball and has attached magnets to my eyelids trying to make them close, I still feel compelled to write. Could I be coming out of this posting funk and start updating regularly again?

Probably not. But there's no reason why I can't pretend. In another month I'll post a "sorry" post. Such is life.

Anyway. Positivity! Since posting last, I am officially down 7 pounds. Running at least three days a week has become part of my routine - for the most part I no longer have to force myself to do it. This week I started calorie counting moreso because I was curious how well I did and it turns out I'm doing better than I thought I was. Look at me go!

Even though I've had a pretty awful week, I do feel happier. Not enough to assume I'm coming out of this funk I've been in for a year, but enough to notice a difference and feel better about it. I've slowly been cutting out some of the negatives in my life, which sadly includes some people. But you have to do what you have to do, and I have to put myself first for a little while. And sometimes I need to remind myself that there is nothing wrong with that.

It's slowly beginning to feel like spring, and like every year I'm amazed at how quickly my calendar fills up. This spring is a little different - this spring along with the warmer weather and abundance of things I want to do also comes the work-place "F" word - Furloughs.

One day per paycheck. Budget has become more important, and I feel like I've gotten a handle on it but it's making me pick and choose some things that I want to do and are feasible to do. Our company is being very kind about it and for the most part we've been able to pick our days, which makes the blow sting less. I'm making it my goal to embrace these days - use them to their full advantage. As the weather gets nicer, I hope to spend a lot of them outside. I also managed to snag a sweet 4-day birthday weekend in May. It doesn't get much better than that, considering the situation.

I hope to share some knitting projects soon - I've been knitting like crazy because when I'm knitting I'm not mindlessly snacking, and when I'm knitting I'm not spending money. Except on yarn. But I already bought it so that doesn't count, right? Of course it doesn't. Don't tell me any differently! I desperately nee to photograph some finished projects though - every time I plan to do it it's been raining or people are being nosy and I feel awkward setting up the camera to take pictures of myself when too many people are poking around. Then I look uncomfortable in the pictures and wind up not using them, so now I don't even bother.

Anyway, life. Getting better. Healthier. Warmer. It's a good start for March.

January 31, 2013

Patchie [Prepares]

As the first month of 2013 draws to a close I'm watching my little calendar slowly start to fill...as the months grow warmer the events start piling up. I start every year putting everything on my calendar - I view it as a "wish list." If I had all the money, and all the time, and none of the obligations, I would love to do all these things. Festivals and weekend trips and visits to longtime friends in other states. New cities, new faires, new faces. Time by the beach. Time in the mountains.

When I was younger I had all the time. I didn't have the money. Now I'm in a limbo between the two - I have more money than I did before, but not as much time. As life moves on, I know I'm going to go through a decade or two where I have neither time or money, and I'm trying to take advantage of what I can while I can.

I wish I was bolder. I wish, instead of 15 little trips, I'd be brave enough to say "this. This is the year I'm going to Europe." And then I'd book my flight, book my hotel, and go. By myself, with someone, neither would stop me.

I've lost a lot of confidence in the last year or so. I put on weight and lost some of my fire. I only felt pretty in my garb. I only felt confident standing behind my actors when I directed a play.

I'm starting to do something about it. I'm running and practicing portion control, and in three weeks I've lost 4 pounds. It's the tip of the iceberg, but it's a start. In three weeks, I already have more energy. More energy and less weight will eventually translate to confidence and fire. I know it will.

2013, so far, is shaping up.

January 24, 2013

Patchie [Enjoys]

Even working a job where "snow days" don't' exist anymore, until I move someplace where it snows for 8 months out of the year I don't think I will ever stop loving snow, even just a pretty little dusting that makes the world so quiet for only a few hours.

I'm halfway through Week 3 of a Couch to 5K, and I may be repeating this week because it's hitting me much harder than the last two. I feel defeated by that thought, even though I know I shouldn't. I talked to a friend last night who's done this exact program twice and she said it gets easier - I'll start to find my stride soon. The Boy and another very good friend who is now running full marathons have also been wildly supportive, and it makes me feel good. I can do this. Now if I could start to see the scale change, that'd motivate me even more...

This is the time of year that everything seems to slow down to almost a stand still for me. I adore it because by the time I start to long for the busy weekends they've arrived. This is the time I knit like crazy, cook as often as I can, and curl up and sleep as much as possible. Snow amplifies those feelings.

You hear that, Mother Nature? Give me my peace and keep the blanket on my world for a little while. I need a good winter to enjoy the spring.