Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Good Ole Catchup Post

Here's a scenario which occurs in my life more often than one might think: I'll meet up with a friend who I haven't seen in a while, we'll chat for a bit, and suddenly they will look slightly embarrassed and say, "To be honest, I don't even know what to ask you. I feel like I know everything that's going on in your life because of your blog."

On one hand, they've got a point. I get pretty revealing up in here sometimes. For example, if you frequent this blog, you not only know oodles about my professional life, but you also know more obscure things like my favorite podcasts, what the inside of my home looks like, and hell, you even know my exact weight.

But the notion that my entire life is on this blog is honestly a misconception. While I pepper my writing with anecdotes and candor, I'd say that not even 5% of my day-to-day makes it onto the pages of Avoiding Atrophy. Actually, I'm pretty intentional about keeping it that way. Like you, I think it'd be pretty creeptastic to let the whole world into all my bidness.

Still, there are definitely details of my life that I want to share with my readers because, let's be honest, I like you guys. Sure, a lot of you are strangers to me. For all I know, you're just hanging around this blog to collect information so that you can Catfish me and rob me blind. But I take my chances because at the end of the day, dammit, I just like you. And when you like someone, you tell them what your deal is.

So on that note, here's a bunch of stuff that has been/will be going on with me lately:

I'm ALL IN for Next Creative Collective.

Next Creative is a collective that I've started alongside my friend Alex Shellhammer. Through monthly meetups and workshops, our aim is to provide a community for bloggers, makers, and entrepreneurs. Our first meetup back in March was an absolute smash, and our next one is coming up soon! It's been so fun coordinating with my girl, Alex, but I've got to admit, it's also a lot of work. It's the kind of work that feels really satisfying and character-building, like churning your own butter, but still, it's work. I'm stoked for this adventure, and if you want to take part (and by the way, you don't have to be in NYC to take part), click HERE.

This is part of a madlib that we passed out at our first meetup!

I finished Improv 301.

I've been pretty quiet on this blog regarding my comedy dabblings, but just so you know, I still dabble. I finished my third level improv course at the Upright Citizens Brigade, and it was certainly the most challenging yet. With the help of my truly phenomenal teacher, I really ended up feeling successful by the end of my course. I'm still not sure what improv means for my future, but all I know is I love it, and I can't wait to sign up for 401.

I signed up for ClassPass, and I can't stop talking about it.

If you haven't heard of ClassPass, here's the deal: for $99 a month, you can go to unlimited classes at tons (and I mean TONS) of awesome boutique fitness studios. My friends Robyn and Alex twisted my arm into signing up, and I'm so glad they did. Since I started last Friday, I've been to FIVE classes, and I just signed up for my sixth. I'm pretty much always sore now, and basically, I'm going to be ripped as hell in what I assume will be a few days. Look out, world.

I'm going to Europe.

In May, my hubs and I are heading to London and Paris for what will, I'm sure, be eleven glorious days. So far, all we've done is book some plane tickets, a train ticket, and a few AirBnbs. Other than that, we honestly have no plans whatsoever. Neither of us have ever been to Europe before, and the prospect of planning a trip of this magnitude is semi-intimidating. I'd LOVE some recommendations from you guys, so shout em out in the comments section if you've got em!

I've been eating a LOT of restaurant-quality ramen.

Just, like, a ton. Like, whatever you're imagining, add more (but also remember that I'm doing ClassPass, so I don't think it will kill me). Ramen is without fail my new favorite food, and I've been making it a point lately to visit some of the most reputable ramen restaurants in the city. Last week, I tried the ramen at Ippudo, and I pretty much left my body the entire time I was eating and dined in a spiritual realm of spicy, noodly delight. It was that good.

I should note that this ramen, while delicious, is NOT from Ippudo.

What I'm reading:

The Complete Stories of Truman Capote by Truman Capote, The Magicians by Lev Grossman, and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. I recently finished reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed along with half of the rest of America, and you know what, it was fine. For sections of it, I found myself desperately wanting to go to REI and buy a bunch of backpacking equipment to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. But for the most part, I felt like it sort of dragged along. If you've read the book, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

What I'm listening to:

Every episode of Comedy Bang Bang, and like, not a ton of music. I'm in a musical rut. Feel free to make some recs.

What I'm watching:

Oh, everything. I watched The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt three times through like a crazy person, and I'm still not even sure I love it (I think I do, but it's no 30 Rock, that's for sure). Also, I just finished up the first season of Better Call Saul (meh?), and I'm currently working my way through its predecessor, Breaking Bad, which I've been avoiding for years because I'm tenderhearted. I'm loving Last Man On Earth, and of course, I never miss an episode of New Girl or The Mindy Project. The season premieres of Veep and Game of Thrones aired on Sunday, and they were both glorious. And then let's not forget reality TV. As always, I'm devoted to another season of Survivor. The theme this season is "White Collar, Blue Collar, No Collar," and it's honestly ridiculous, but regardless, I'll probably never stop loving that show. I'm also watching The Amazing Race for the first time ever, which never really appealed to me before, but suddenly I'm hooked. It is weirdly satisfying to my wanderlusty heart.

Aaaaand this is getting long, and I haven't even begun to scratch the surface, but you get the idea: I'm a person and I do stuff.

Catch me up on your life. What have you been up to?


  1. That's exactly what me and my husband said about Kimmy Schmidt! He said he liked it but it's no 30 Rock. But maybe that's why I really liked it, liked it more the 2nd time around but couldn't LOVE it. I wanted it to fill the hole 30 Rock left.

  2. That's true -- and it happens to me, too. People believe what's on my blog is my whole life when really isn't only a small slice. Congrats on planning the trip to Europe! You two will love that. It'll create wonderful memories. Right now, I'm working hard (just argued a $6 Million dollar case in federal appellate court) and learning how to twirl a baton. Also having a photographer-friend take pictures of me this weekend. I've never had anyone help with that before.

    1. oops... meant to type "it's only", not "isn't only."

  3. I'm with you on Wild. I listened to the audiobook and it's definitely not one I'll bother to revisit. I think it was interesting, but I have friends who are quoting it as inspiration along with their artsy instagrams and I just didn't get that. I wasn't inspired to hike the PCT, but I kept thinking I could surely do it since she did. I mean, she was so very unprepared!!!!!

  4. A friend of mine was in Paris for a night and a day before going on to live in Hungary and Turkey 2 years ago. She would tell you to take the evening Segway tour of Paris. It allowed her to then choose a couple of places to explore more deeply the next day before leaving. Plus I think it would be fun to say, "I segwayed through an evening in Paris."

  5. I just wrote a post on how private this blog of mine is. It's part of me sure buts only s fraction of my personality.
    And I am heading out to London tomorrow for a long weekend and I'll let you know what I discover.
    Cheers, Tobia

  6. As a prepared wilderness backpacker I was extremely annoyed by the first chapters of Wild but grew to love the book and how Cheryl dealt with the trials of her own life. To anyone who has read Wild I always recommend Tiny Beautiful Things (another book by Cheryl Strayed). What I love about both books is how Cheryl demonstrates the love we can have for ourselves despite all the crap most of us will inevitably step in.

    I love your writing and your blog.

  7. Have you ever tried Noisetrade? That's how I find a lot of new (to me) artists, and it's all free and legal. Getting free downloads from there has led me to purchase a lot of other stuff, too. That's how I found and got hooked on Ben Rector and Nick Flora.

    Right now, I'm listening to:

    Sandra McCracken's new album based on Psalms (stream it here:
    Drew Holcombe and the Neighbors' new album, Medicine
    Josh Garrels' old (but yeah, new to me) album, Love and War and the Sea in Between

    Oh, hey, and Josh Garrels' latest, Home, is available for free download at Noisetrade RIGHT NOW.

    Also, I would recommend Andrew Osenga (especially Leonard the Lonely Astronaut, which I think is a perfect album) and Jenny & Tyler, a husband-wife duo whom I knew in college before they hit the big time!

    Hope some of those work out for you!

  8. I love ClassPass, too!! I think it's such a good value considering all the classes it's possible to try! I just wish it had been around when I was unemployed... I would have been going to a new class every day!

  9. SO lucky that you're going to europe this month ! or more realistically you already went because I'm embarrassingly behind in my blogs. but still. exciting! Can't wait to live vicariously through you before I, yes, catfish you- you're onto me! lol. also I loooove Kimmy schmidt. Its funny because I'm not a huge fan of 30 rock (dont kill me- just haven't given it a proper chance tbh) but I love UKS. especially the theme song.


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