I don’t like to mess around when I set goals, so I jumped right in and checked a few boxes already.
I’m not a big fan of social media, but it does have its benefits at time. I have learned a tonne about weaving from the FB groups out there dedicated to demystifying the rigid heddle loom, for example. And, on the rare occasion I put out a “looking for” request, I usually get at least a few helpful replies. After the demise of Moose and Sadie’s, I wasn’t sure where I could find a similar place to drink some coffee and write in a cafe environment. Something not too busy, something not to empty, something with coffee that doesn’t taste like asphalt or espresso that is handcrafted by a barista instead of barfed out by a pre-programmed machine. In my post earlier today, I’d mentioned I wanted to find a new hangout outside the home for at least a few hours a week — away from the kids and the cats and the basement office. Maybe a place to unplug for a bit and just write or read.
I haven’t a clue anymore about what is where around my city. And the pandemic did very little to help codify any past I may have had with the places to go — more of my favorites found their demise than survived and being a hermit has meant staying at home instead of exploring.
So I used FB for what it sometimes is good for and asked for recommendations based on what I thought was a relatively simple list of criteria. I sometimes end up with nothing, but an old friend (who incidentally doesn’t live in the Cities anymore) suggested a location out of my way, but one that has a shop a reasonable distance away called Spyhouse. I did some image checks and I know the area pretty well and it seemed to hit most or all of my criteria at a glance.
Homey, possibly busy at certain hours, but just as likely not. Free parking. They roast their own beans (usually a positive sign), a large espresso boiler (looked like a 4-group unit, which suggests volume), images of real macchiatos that look like ristretto pulls and real heavy cream, images of rosette latte art (machines can’t do that, although a criticism of mine is that it looks like they had too much air in the froth and missed the velvet texture in the pictures I saw), and clean. All in all, a place that looks like I could get comfy in. Plus, it is in the artists quarter of the city and that’s always good in my opinion — as artists tend to be more interesting than yuppies in terms of people-watching.
So, I think I’ll give it a try on Sunday morning. I tend to get up earlier than most of the world, so I’ll shower and hit them shortly after they open up. If I like it, I’ll go sometime later in the day on the weekend.
So, check off one box — found a place to at least try out. I could use with finding a new hangout, even if I don’t befriend folks like I did at the Lux when I lived in Seattle. Those poor people didn’t have a choice but to get to know me, I spent a small fortune in drinking coffee there, trying to wash away my problems in exquisite coffee.
Box two also got checked off tonight. I decided to take the plunge and buy a ReMarkable 2. It was pre-purchased before things started shutting down for coronavirus and I got nervous about job stability, so I asked to be removed from the wait list. I know it’s an awesome device because I own the first generation. I had my quibbles about some design elements, but it was a solid little device. The new one addressed my design complaints and works better (with a longer battery life) and, well, the eldest steals the first gen model I have whenever she thinks of it because of the sketching “feel” on an e-device. I also like that you can be as unconnected as you want — there is no social media, no web browser, no texts. I can shut down my phone and write away without distractions from the rest of the world if I want. It really does feel about as close as you can get to writing on paper, plus it has optical character recognition (OCR), so I theoretically should be able to send my writing to a TXT file for further editing. My experience in the past with OCR has been mixed.
Sure, it is an expensive device ($500 for device and the fancier “pencil”), but I also have gone through reams of paper in my life and it would save some trees to go paperless. And there’s something to be said about hand to paper feel over keyboard feel. I have a different creative process with each medium and, in ways, some writing flows better for me on certain things when I go “old fashioned” with pen/paper.
Sworn off publicly on games for the foreseeable future. Several someones will hold me to account if I waffle on that commitment. Check box three.
That just leaves setting up a biking schedule, which will have to start no later than the kids getting out of school next week. Out of the house and getting physical exercise.
No messing around.