Spring is sleeping in.

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April has come, but it doesn’t seem like the weather got the memo. There was a pretty good dumping of snow last week, and I wished I had had a heavier coat the last few mornings. I went for a walk around my neighborhood yesterday, and luckily the flowers are pushing forward as though nothing is amiss, which is pleasant. Great things happening in April: the final hand-in of my thesis (woo!) and a week in San Francisco (woo!). I am so looking forward to both of those.

Things I have been into lately: roasted brussel sprouts, job hunting, and a few sewing projects. It’s a weird life, but somebody’s gotta live it.

Music Mondays: Awake by Tycho

I saw Tycho once while I was in North Carolina, and it was a delightful experience. Conveniently, they are playing in Denver on April 4th! And in Fort Collins the next day, if you’re up that direction. I know songs “without words” can be a controversial topic for some (cough cough, Ali) but I really like this one. It’s a good warm-up jam for the week. Hope your Monday is going swimmingly :)

The Music Mondays playlist on Spotify.

Music Mondays: Wishing Well by the Oh Hellos

I was listening to the oh-so-wonderful Oh Hellos all weekend. I think I’ve picked almost all the songs on the record as my favorite at least once, but this one gets the honor today. My thesis is looking better and better! Isn’t that exciting?

curse my restless wandering feet
prone to wander endlessly…

P.S. The Music Mondays Playlist on Spotify.

-”Even after all this time?” -”Always.” I actually love skiing, I just [literally] couldn’t see before.

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“The days you don’t ski you don’t get back.” -K.O.

Since I’ve been back from Bath, I have been really reluctant to go skiing. I didn’t know what my problem was- I grew up on skis, I used to get a pass nearly every year, and my Bavarian heritage basically makes me contractually obligated to like sliding down a snowy mountain on two sticks. However, I was just not feeling it- I wasn’t feeling the driving (which, this year in particular, has been throughly horrendous on the infamous I-70), I wasn’t feeling collecting all my gear from the dusty corners where it’s been living the last few years, and I especially wasn’t feeling how everyone in this state is OBSESSED with skiing. I mean, I get it. I grew up here. But there’s a certain one-track mind kind of people who have been gradually trickling in since I was a kid who are here to “Live life, man!” and shred the gnar. I, in contrast, prefer some variety in what I obsess over, so those people generally drive me nuts. There’s only snow for half the year, and you’ve got to find something productive to do with those other 6 months in my book.

There was this weird residual bitterness, and I have no idea where it came from. I have no idea, because this year, when I finally felt the satisfying click of boot in binding and spent my first full day on a mountain with the right equipment and 20/20 vision (I hadn’t been wearing glasses to ski before I took my sporty hiatus 2+ years ago) all that love for the snow came flooding back. And I had a few really interesting revelations:

1. I think I spent about 50% of my time as a snowboarder stressed out as f*** because skiers cut you off ALL. THE. TIME. I even caught myself doing it a couple times on this trip! The reality is that these are two ways of cruising across the snow that require completely different types of movement, and unless you’re a rare breed of crossover between the two (like myself- I snowboarded for all of college and a few years in high school) you would have no idea. Oh, the blissful ignorance! A PSA for skiers out there: Snowboarders cannot turn nearly as adeptly as you can- give them some space on the mountain.

2. On that note, snowboarding’s status as the cool kid in town when it comes to winter sports brings in a lot of inexperienced or young people who a) don’t know the rules of the mountain or b) know the rules of the mountain and choose to ignore them in pursuit of top speeds and shred cred. (Shred cred is a term that I just made up for when people try to look like a total BAMF on the mountain, something that I think is very important in snowboarding.)

3. Skiing is just easier. It requires a lot less adjusting and planning when it comes to flat parts of the mountain and the logistics of getting on and off the lift. I was almost giddy when I could just slide into line, jump on a chair, and jump off again completely ready to go.

And finally, 4. THAT WHOLE  TIME I WAS SNOWBOARDING I COULDN’T SEE ANYTHING. And I never knew! I only went to get my eyes checked in college because I started not doing homework after not being able to see it written down on the board. I wish an eye check was a weird mandatory part of freshman orientation, kind of like eating at the dining hall with people you end up never seeing again for all of college, or naively thinking Target will have what you need in stock during the first week of school. VISION. It makes skiing so much easier!

So it turns out that I really do love skiing, even after all this time (à la Snape). The blurry vision situation and the constant vigilance I developed while snowboarding just had me down. To my great benefit, I’m back- my form is pretty terrible, but I’m back. :)

Black Eye Coffee in the Highlands

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Is it just me, or does it feel like winter is holding on particularly strongly this year? Maybe I’m just jealous of Germany, where winter was apparently a walk in the park this time around, not to be compared with the epic coldest-winter-in-60-years that I survived while in Berlin. I keep looking around for tulips popping up cheerfully along sidewalks, but so far the only life I’ve spotted has been a few hyacinths along my building and an increase in chirpy birds outside in the morning.

A few weeks ago, I recruited Susanna for a new coffee adventure, and Black Eye Coffee was in our crosshairs. Upon walking in, I realized, kind of creepily, that I had definitely seen an artsy video about the construction of this place a few years ago. I can’t figure out where the heck I got that video from, but the space is beautiful and full of nice old touches, like a vintage cooler along the back wall. I had a cappuccino and a cheddar-and-sage scone, and both were delightful. I always love it when places have community tables- I think it discourages the masses of silent/grumpy laptop users from encroaching upon the coffee happiness too heavily (although I will say that I am certainly guilty of being one of those from time to time). Black Eye is a delightful little shop, and I’m sure it’s even better in the summer with the garage door outside wide open. You should check it out.

If you go…
Black Eye Coffee
3408 Navajo Street
Denver, CO 80211 (The Highlands)

Music Mondays: Pioneers by the Lighthouse and the Whaler

It is so pleasant that spring is here! Today’s song is for driving around with the windows down and sunglasses on as the snow melts.

Hold on, I feel like you could shine a little brighter my love
Just like you did when you where younger
Underneath the copper wires and the floorboards that creak
I hope they never end

Beach Wanderin’ in Del Mar

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My last day in San Diego was a Monday, so I was on my own for most of the day. I decided to have a leisurely breakfast in Del Mar; eating a coffee and bagel and I sat next to the ocean. Oceans are fascinating- I feel like, despite growing up in a landlocked state, they are a recurring theme at important points in my life. Going to Europe? Cross the ocean first. Miss someone in America? Yep, they’re across an ocean. Feeling relaxed in the sunshine in a city you like? Yeah, that’s probably on the coast in California. For a while, as a child, I thought I wanted to be a marine biologist when I grew up. I had always been into animal stuff, and what better place to look at a bunch of animals than in vast expanses of water? Obviously that dream was never realized (I’ve since found an equally interesting type of animal, politicians and their associated ecosystems) but I still like to imagine hypothetical scientist Heidi when I go to the beach.

What are your plans for the weekend? I am going to go up to Fort Collins this weekend for a little hang-out time with the bro. Last night I saw the Grand Budapest Hotel (at the “Denver premiere,” which was pretty exciting) and I really liked it! It was fun to watch it with such a happy crowd- everyone laughed out loud at the funny parts of the movie. And Ralph Finnes was great! I’d recommend it. I hope you have a great weekend- catch you on the flip side.

Music Mondays: Don’t Get Too Close by Nathaniel Rateliff

I saw Nathaniel Rateliff with Gregory Alan Isakov in January, and he was AWESOME. Well they both were, but Rateliff in particular was impressive and new to me. There’s an NPR tiny desk concert where someone asks Scott Avett if he swallowed an amplifier as a child- Rateliff’s voice has a similar effect. I’ve started a Music Mondays playlist on Spotify- it’s not much yet, but it’ll grow as the weeks go by. :)

Too much Orca. Didn’t that sound a little Orca-ish to you?

sdaq1sdaq2sdaq3sdaq4sdaq5sdaq6sdaq7sdaq6.5sdaq8sdaq9sdaq10Man, there’s just no way to get through a post about ocean life without a Finding Nemo reference! I’m spitting these things out all over instagram and this post and I haven’t even actually gone diving yet. By the time I get around to using my PADI certification you guys are going to be totally sick of my ocean fascination.

While in San Diego it was a little hard to find touristy stuff to do that hadn’t been accomplished on my last trip out there in January of 2013. While on the TripAdvisor hunt, we stumbled across Birch Aquarium and decided that it’s ratings and reviews- one even mentioning that it was a pretty small place, visitable in an afternoon- made it a perfect activity for our Sunday. Luckily it was Museum Month in San Diego, so there were discounts at a bunch of places, including the aquarium for the weekend that I was in town. It worked out well- our tickets were all half price from the usual $17 for an adult, and we all agreed that the aquarium was small enough that the half price seemed much more reasonable. I mean, taking care of animals is a costly thing, so it’s understandable that they need to make enough money to sustain that, but man. As a still-kind-of-college-student, I sure am glad it was Museum Month. Plus the aquarium is La Jolla, which in my opinion is one of the prettiest parts of San Diego. So that is an extra bit of winning for this place!

The aquarium is pretty small but has a really nice collection (er… assemblage? menagerie?) of creatures. I liked that there was a focus on the California coast’s wildlife and geographical features…. those weird ocean drop-offs sure are scary! They had a lot of jellyfish, and I like jellyfish. I say that, of course, never having been stung by one. That would probably change my impression, but they sure are fun to watch drift around in the dark. They also had an exploration tide pool or whatever you call the area where you get to do the unthinkable and actually touch some animals- the creepiest were the sea anemones, who are surprisingly grippy underwater! It was really funny to watch kids reacting to the squishy/rough creatures. I think it would be so much fun to work at an aquarium, especially one with one of those huge tanks that people can dive in. Getting the fish’s perspective on all the people outside the glass would be pretty funny! How have your aquarium experiences been lately? Any that are particularly worthy of a visit, outside of just actually going diving?

If you missed it- Part I of the San Diego adventuring. I hope you have a great weekend!