23

My birthday was last week. We celebrated with sushi, to Benjamin’s chagrin. But luckily they had a steak roll, so he survived.

It’s funny…I don’t feel any different. Not sure why, but every single year I somehow expect this year to be different, as if I’ll magically feel my soul shifting as I lean into a new year…but no such experience has hit me yet. Oh well. Maybe next year.

We went to Detroit on the Benjamin half of birthday week (mine on Monday, his on Thursday), and we caught some staggeringly good concerts: Andrew Bird on the 14th, and Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals on the 15th. I can’t even begin to describe my emotions as I contemplate those concerts. Seeing Andrew Bird was like having an organic high–I honestly haven’t felt so trance-like since my last benedryl episode–all the colors melted and life was perfect. And Ben Harper–I can’t even. What a man. And his band is so beautifully legit. And he picked a fiiiiiiiiine opener. Andrew Bird’s opener kinda sucked, but Ben Harper had this dude called Christopher Paul Stelling, and he was pretty cool.

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Anyway. Those concerts got me thinking. I should share my concert bucket list, and then I can cross each one off as I see them?

Yeah. I like that.

Bold = seen.

Alabama Shakes

alt-J

Andrew Bird

Arcade Fire

Avett Brothers, The

Band of Horses

Ben Harper

Beck

Ben Folds

Ben Kweller

CHVRCHES (seeing them in September)

Death Cab For Cutie

Decemberists, The

Flaming Lips, The

Flight of the Conchords

Jack Johnson

Josh Ritter

Jukebox and the Ghost

Local Natives

Lou Doillon

M83 

Macklemore

Ok Go

Paul McCartney

Punch Brothers

Purity Ring

Radiohead

Ray Lamontagne

Regina Spektor

Sharon Van Etten

Shins, The

Sufjan Stevens

Vampire Weekend

Xavier Rudd

Weepies, The

Meh. That’s enough. I already feel super overwhelmed that I maybe won’t ever be able to see them all <tear leaks from corner of right eye>

OH WELL. I’m twenty-three now, so the world is my oyster. Boo-yah.

Pittsburgh

So.

Pittsburgh.

Benjamin and I have lived in Pittsburgh for just about two years now. Two whole years! Golly. The time has slipped away. And truth be told…we love it.

Pittsburgh has everything we want in a place to live, minus one very important thing: proximity to family. It has A M A Z I N G food, museums, an international airport, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, a couple skyscrapers and pretty cool concerts…but we are 5 1/2 hours away from family. And I know that isn’t too much of a distance, but sometimes it feels like an ocean.

I was always so certain that I’d never live far away from my Taylor clan. I imagined that we’d all at least live in the same state. Except now each of us is spreading out across the country, and I feel helpless and angsty. Which is ridiculous because duh, everyone gets to figure out their path themselves.

Another worry is this: I’m afraid that I’ll quite fall in love with Pittsburgh, but that Benjamin’s work will uproot us again, and I’ll have to start rebuilding a life again. And let me be quite clear–starting fresh somewhere new is not my favorite.

Chances are, we will have one more big move before Ben’s education is quite complete. After residency, we will move on to Fellowship, and that could take us just about anywhere. But not likely nearer family.

So yeah. Today I have the sad because I’m afraid of what the future will hold for me. I recognize the insanity of letting these worries possess me–everything is quite out of my hands and I should just enjoy this lovely spring evening. But it is so much easier to type those words than to actually relish how serene my life is right now…<sigh>

So I don’t quite end on a morbid note, here is a list of my favorite PGH-ish things thus far:

1. Kennywood.
2. Walking along the strip district and discovering new shops and food vendors.
3. Lush, beautifully maintained city parks.
4. Library system.
5. Duquesne Incline.
6. R E S T A U R A  N T S (Guacho, Park Brugge, Il Pizzaiolo, Burgatory, Franktuary, etc,.)
7. Museums–Art, Natural History, Andy Warhol, etc,.
8. Friendly people.

There is still so much of the city I have yet to explore. The National Aviary is on my list, as well as Phipp’s Conservatory. Luckily I still have three more years to enjoy every single bit of this wonderful place.

Derailed

It’s finally Saturday. In anticipation of this day, I tidily compiled a to-do list to fill my time while Benjamin works (stupid call weekends are the worst and I hate them), but my plans unraveled a bit when I walked out to my car to discover this:

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You can tell that I’ve got a flat tire from this photo, right? ‘Cause in case you can’t, I’ve got a flat tire.

So. Instead of moseying through Target, and wasting away my hours in a nook of my local library, I started re-watching Gilmore Girls for the umpteenth time, played Super Mario on the N64, and then I decided to impulsively re-arrange ALL OF MY BOOKS. Which has led me to conclude that it is time to get rid of my tall brown bookshelves, and replace them with shorter white bookshelves. I’ve been considering this for awhile, but today clinched it. Which means that soon I’ll undo all the book arranging I did today. But…it looks fun-ish in the meantime.

Here is a kinda crappy before pic: IMG_4932

See–normal, happy-go-lucky bookshelves.

And after…

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I pulled everything off, and began to organize my books into color coordinated stacks.


I am relatively pleased with it. Except that I wanted to cram everything into a single shelf, but I don’t have quite enough room. Which is why my white books didn’t make it onto the shelves. Whoops.

These bookshelves are old enough that we can justify replacing them, and these IKEA shelves in white should do nicely.

So yeah. That was my Saturday. Oh, and I made myself a fig, prosciutto, and goat cheese sandwich. Which might have been the best decision of my day.

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Podcasts

Apparently awesome podcasts have been a thing for aaaaaaaaaages, and I am late to the game in my appreciation for them–but here I am at last.

It all started with John Dehlin’s Mormon Stories, and then a good friend mentioned Summer Innanen’s Fearless Rebelle Radio , and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Here is my list of podcasts to listen in on next, but I’m open to suggestions. Particularly if anyone knows about any Harry Potter podcasts…?

Serial (and then Undisclosed)
Criminal
This American Life
99 percent invisible
Gilmore guys
TED Radio Hour
Love & radio
Radio Lab
The Mortified Podcast
Freakanomics

Anything else I should give an ear to?