Saturday, July 21, 2012

Music, yoga and food

View from Row J at the DTE Energy Center - I took this photo at the beginning of the evening before my phone battery gave out
In keeping with recent concert outings, this Tuesday night I went to a concert about 20 min from my apartment at the DTE Energy Center (an outdoor venue once known as Pine Knob).  There are around 6,000 seats under the pavilion roof and space for another 8,000 people out on the lawn.  Basically for all the concerts I've been to in the past few years, I bought last minute tickets on Craigslist.  There is something incredibly infuriating about paying relatively steep ticket prices on ticketmaster only to be charged another $6-12 in processing and delivery fees (charging for delivery via email?  c'mon - I hope that never happens with regular email ::shudders::).  I just refuse to do it.  So, instead, the day of the concert I picked up a single ticket for 20% off of the list+fees original total.  Woohoo!  I swear, to some extent Michigan (metro-Detroit anyway) really is about cars and music.

The first band playing at the concert was My Darkest Days (didn't know much about them, ended up getting there a little late, so only heard their last song).  Primary comment - the main guy had a purple guitar which made me happy.  Next was Bush, a band where, turns out, I knew more of their songs than I expected, mainly thanks to someone at CTY sharing some of their tunes with me back in the day (I was at CTY, a summer program from after 7th to after 10th grade).

Finally, the headliner, Nickelback went on.  They had lights, fire poofs, the whole deal.  They even played music!  I knew almost all of their songs from the radio.  Many I was pleased to hear, but those few that were played to death on the radio I really wished they didn't bother playing again.  They were very interactive with the crowd and put on a good show.  Overall, I'm happy I got the ticket and was very happy with the seat I ended up with.  I could see all the band members the whole time.

Last Thursday I started going back to hot yoga classes again at Detroit Bikram.  Since then I've gone four times and hope to keep going at least twice a week.  It's hard but satisfying and, dare I say it, relaxing at the same time.  I have naturally good flexibility, but my balance, unfortunately, seems to be as bad as my flexibility is good.  Sometimes it gets frustrating.  On the whole though, it feels like I've done something beneficial for myself, it stretches and uses muscles I wouldn't use nearly as much otherwise and it's a nice reminder to drink more water throughout the day.

This weekend I finally checked out the farmer's market here in Rochester Hills, on the hunt for peaches.  There was one vendor selling them and he had just one left, so he nicely just gave it to me.  Since that didn't fulfill my mid-July peach desires, I went to the farmer's market in the town where I used to live, Farmington Hills.  My favorite stand  there (Kapnick Orchardshad plenty of fruit still and so it looks like I might be making a longer trip down there on Saturday mornings for their Flaming Fury peaches.  It doesn't hurt that on the way I can listen to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me on NPR and things like that.  Farm fresh peaches with juice that runs down your chin cannot be beat.

My stash!  Peaches on the left, and a bowl of nectarines, plus the peach from Roch. Hills on the right

Today, I opened the sliding door to the balcony to let in some fresh air while it's still warm, rather than HOT out.  It feels good to hear wind and birds and bugs rather than HVAC.  Hope you're having a good weekend, too.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Stay cool out there!

Today, as they did the day before shut down, GM has dimmed the lights at our building in an attempt to reduce their energy load on the grid.  The forecast warns of "Excessive Heat" until tonight at 11PM (the high is supposed to be 100), so this is our own way of hunkering down and helping out.
Our darkened office area - people are just using task lighting rather than having every single overhead light on

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Vacation after less than a month

One of the additional things that comes with interning at GM is GM's set of shutdowns and holidays.  While not all locations are closed for the week over July 4th, mine was which enabled me to be part of an annual family vacation.  While our family vacation was in northern Vermont, which, certainly, was a drive away, additional side trips made my travel last week (all by car), look like this:

That is 2013 miles of driving right there folks - six states and two countries
The view from the deck of a cabin we rented in Vermont - plus some riff-raff :-)
It was a great trip though, and it included family, friends and my boyfriend, so it was worth all the time in the vehicle.  Stopped in PA, then went to the test drive event in NJ, saw our college friends of now many years in NYC, went up to Vermont for seven days (we swam in Lake Champlain, played tennis, went biking, splashed in water falls, saw immature bald eagles, hiked and ate lots of good food), scooted over to Ottawa for a concert (Iron Maiden headlined Ottawa's BluesFest - sorry, I don't have pictures), stopped in PA again and then went back home.
The view from the building we stayed in in VT - it was built in the late 1700s!

In Vermont, in the plant tour spirit, we stopped at Otter Creek Brewery to...see them bottling beer
(we also stopped at a store that made bow ties called Beau Ties and drove by the brewery that makes Woodchuck Hard Cider)
Yup, just going to look at the bottling...
On our hike we saw remnants of iron ore mining camps on the western side of Lake Champaign
The bushes in the foreground were actually wild blueberries, so I nibbled on a couple

I now know for sure that one way to stay occupied on long trips is an audiobook.  I started Steve Jobs' (unabridged) biography on a drive from Boston to Pennsylvania back in March; I listened to it a whole bunch on this trip and I am still not done (remember, I said unabridged).  Despite the length, it's been very interesting to hear a more intimate history of things you're familiar with and have lived through.  I wish school taught more modern history rather than often stopping at WWII.  Anyway, that's a tangent.

Somehow it's the middle of July.  I was on a roll writing posts in June and then between vacation and business travel and then trying to catch up on wonderfully mundane things like laundry, I've been thrown out of the groove I had gotten into.  Well, here in Michigan it's not as hot as it was, but it's still regularly reaching the upper 80s or low 90s.  The class of 2013 just had our first phone call back with the LGO/MIT mothership concerning internship deilverables (yes, ok, we do occasionally have homework) and it felt strange but nice to be hearing people's voices again.  We're in grad school still but this internship thing is pretty excellent.

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