Day 13 and some

drink, lifestyle

This weekend was incredible. The end to my 13 day nightmarish week felt like a celebration. While my physical body was exhausted on Friday night, mentally I was ready for fun. Here’s some real-time footage of my last day and a recap of my weekend.

I visited 2 cideries in the New Paltz area: Kettleborough and Brooklyn Cider House. Kettleborough exceeded my expectations. I found them by searching “cider houses” on Google and after not recognizing the name I admit, I did not have the highest hopes. How wrong I was. The cider was delicious, to start. Just the qualities I like: tannic, dry and effervescent. Unlike commercialized ciders, that are not bad in my eyes by the way, these ciders display the true transformation in the fermentation process. The flavors are more akin to a white wine than they are to a common cider. And yet the most incredible part of Kettleborough was the scenic view from around the cider house. Suddenly you were perched on top of a hill looking out on the Shawangunk ridge in it’s vibrant autumnal glory. If we weren’t freezing, we could’ve sat there forever. But like I said we were cold, and apple cider donuts beckoned.

The Brooklyn Cider House, while definitely a more well known name, was equally as enjoyable. The cidery’s New Paltz location occupies an orchard, Twin Star Orchard, in addition to a cider house. We chose a bottle of the raw cider which had that farm-y funky flavor that I’ve been really enjoying in farm beers lately. We enjoyed a pizza, a bottle of cider and a walk through the orchard. The full sun made this location a little more bearable in the elements. I stole an apple. No telling.

Really Saturday was wildly special because of my company: I love my boyfriend possibly more than I love myself. He is my best friend, and if you believe in soul-mates he is mine. But Saturday was also special because I took my new-found tasting knowledge out for a spin. I looked past my preferences and prejudices and tried a little of everything, and it yielded new knowledge and a greater variety to choose from in the future. It’s something I’m definitely looking forward to exploring more. I know I can improve on my tasting abilities and descriptions. Maybe a new journal? Who knows.

Day 12 10/11/18

lifestyle

Today was bad. Like how I thought the white wine was sweet because I tasted it after a particularly dry rose, today was particularly bad because yesterday was just exquisite. I’m supposed to be at an industry event right now, but I hope you realize that I’m not since I’m publishing this at 7:51pm. I felt like I was hit by a truck today and went home sick. I continued to work, let me tell you. My body literally hates me for my work ethic. But day 12 is the day that got me. Day 12 is also the day that forced me to throw away food. I napped briefly in the middle of bowl of soup number 4 so that sat getting cold and sad on my night table. Whole wheat egg noodles are also low-key gross, but I wasn’t about to get picky with my sick foods. I am thankful, however that I have so many frozen meals that my mom brought me. I need something spicy to really knock the mucus out of my head (sorry). My head feels like a balloon on the verge of popping despite the bowls of hot water that I mulled over with my blanket scarf draped over my head.

I’m especially bummed about missing the industry event, but my friend Kelly put it best: real adults don’t go to work when they’re sick. Since I’ve been working I still find it hard to view my coworkers as peers since I’m the youngest person in the office. I feel as if I constantly need to prove myself and stick through each and every day like my head is on the chopping block. But the reality is, I get sick sometimes. Everyone gets sick sometimes. I wasn’t sick for over 3 months, but this week was the week that got me and that needs to be okay. Taking one day to re-charge was necessary. I even worked from home, which is an option that I’m so grateful to have. Self-care and self-preservation are essential right now. They’re the tools that will enable me to produce my best work once I’m well rested.

 

Day 11 10/10/18

drink, lifestyle

Day 11 has been incredible. After putting in my 2 weeks notice I’ve felt extremely motivated at my main job. I visited an event location and interviewed the owner of a vineyard for an article.

As I approached the vineyard I had a stupid giant smile on my face. Fall in the Hudson Valley is picturesque, but this could make an oil painting look like an elementary school art project. The collage of trees distracted me until the expanse of grape vines appeared, extending back towards a group of barns. Opposite the vineyard is the Shawangunk Ridge, the mountains that occupy the area. My god, it was gorgeous,

I tasted 6 wines today. Yes, I got paid to taste wine. I first tried a Cab Franc, a variety that took extremely well to the area. I don’t think I’ve tried it before and it was a dry and drinkable red. Delightful. When I told the owner of the vineyard that I tried it, she asked if I usually like dry reds. When I said yes, she said that she would give me a list of wines to try that include some dry reds but mostly other varieties. She said the tasting room is exactly that, for tasting. I should feel comfortable enough to get out of my comfort zone and get out of the habit of only buying one type of wine. While I live outside the comfort zone, I understand that most people don’t want to bother spending money on something they won’t like. She made me feel like I was in good hands. Like if I didn’t like a wine I wouldn’t feel guilty because I’m there to discover if I like a wine or not.

When it came down to it and to my surprise, my tastebuds lingered on a light, citrusy white wine. I couldn’t take my mind off of it even as I interviewed the owner. I went back inside and bought a bottle. It’s burning a hole in my fridge as I test my self control and save it for when my boyfriend visits this weekend. The white is their best seller, and has evolved over the years the vineyard has been open.

Today revived me both energetically and inspirationally. I took advantage of my slow morning and enjoyed every second I was out in the field. Usually I bemoan transcribing interviews but for some reason I can’t wait to listen to this half hour masterpiece and write multiple pieces about this phenomenal place. I might even come back this weekend.

I learned so much today. My alarm just went off and I can’t believe it’s already 10PM. I’ve got 2 more days until my day off. Let’s not get too too tired before it’s all over. I’ve got big things coming.

Day 10 10/9/18

lifestyle

My vlog got deleted. In it’s entirety. I’m very sad about this. But anyway I feel as if it is my duty to inform you that I put in my 2 weeks notice at my second job. The moment I hung up the phone after leaving my message I felt a weight lift off of my shoulders. I felt twice as motivated despite approaching the end of the day. I’m so much more inspired. I feel like my thoughts are already more focused. Now that I have a set number of days left, I can anticipate how much more I can accomplish in my primary job.

All day I felt irreparably tired. The skin under my eyes felt especially paper thin with soreness and sag my young face should not feel. For the first time in weeks I bought a mid-day coffee to wake me up. This is day 10 in my 13 day week and I finally felt the consequences of minimal rest: sore throat, sore eyes and a droopy head needing constant hand support only further clogging the pores on the right side of my face.

And yet I’m so excited about the next few days. Being on location and gathering content tomorrow should be invigorating, especially because I’ll be able to enjoy the outdoors. Thursday I’ll literally be at a party for work with no objective other than shaking hands and trying local food. I can’t wait to record and recount the next few days to you all. Hopefully via vlog so I can perfect my recording skills.

Self-Care Sunday

lifestyle

I work 6 days a week and still try to make the most out of my one day weekends. My boyfriend came to visit on Friday night, which meant a week long cleaning spree in addition to planning how to fit as much fun into one day together. Friday through Sunday was a whirlwind of working, cooking dinner, hiking, drinking and working again, and I decided that instead of cramming a week’s worth of chores into one night I would actually take care of myself.

I opted for leftovers for dinner and I spent some time hanging out on my couch, catching up on some of my favorite Youtube accounts and calling my mom. Calling my mom took up an hour, but we fully caught up despite talking almost every day in short phone calls. I did some yoga (following this video) and it made my think of other ways to take care of myself.

My most recent mantra has been “everyone is on a different path,” but sometimes I reject that thought, and feel as if I’m failing. Today I needed to remember that people don’t post their hardships on social media. No one posts about how high the rent is, but they will post their fully decorated studio apartment. It’s important to draw similarities and learn from peers rather than draw conclusions and become jealous of a fabricated perception of another person’s reality.

It’s also important to prioritize your time and use it wisely. I could’ve made tomorrow’s lunch or prepped a wall for painting, but that would’ve worn me down after a full day on my feet. Why do that now when I can make lunch in the morning when I have extra time anyway, and prep my wall when I’ll actually be painting in a few days? Rome wasn’t built in a day, and wearing oneself down in order to conquer the world just makes them too tired to organize it.

A very important lesson I’ve learned (and I lesson I’m trying to apply more): take care of yourself. You can’t help others if you’re not well. You can’t pour from an empty cup, you can’t put the oxygen mask on your neighbor if you yourself are not wearing one. You won’t be productive and you won’t be as helpful as you intend to be. In a not selfish way, you need to put yourself first sometimes.

Firsts

lifestyle

Hey folks and fans. It’s been a minute, but I finally have wifi in my FIRST APARTMENT. That’s right. I moved two weeks ago into a real fixer upper of a one bedroom apartment. I started with low expectations of both myself and the space, but after two weeks of a little bit of work each day it’s coming together. Of course, I couldn’t do it without help from friends and family, specifically my mom, Dave (my mom’s boyfriend) and Nick (my boyfriend). You can see some of my projects, additions and adventures (when I remember to post) on Instagram @picturemarcella.

Along with the FIRST apartment comes my FIRST electrical bills, FIRST internet bills and FIRST furniture purchases, which have all been their own unique version of exciting. That really sums up my FIRST apartment. It’s hard work, and you need to be a bit of a pain in the ass to get things done (ie. get your landlord to fix your sink) BUT it’s all part of the life lessons that come with being in your early 20’s. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, right?

My next FIRST is having my FIRST article published at my current job. I had the opportunity to drink beer on a boat and I wrote all about it here. I work in marketing, but once in a while a fun assignment will pop up with my name all over it (look out for the hard cider pairing chart coming out soon). Food has always been a passion, and I’ve had a knack for writing since I was published in my town’s local newspaper at age 11 (for a sports story, imagine that). I never imagined that I would be so heavily associated with the beer scene in the Hudson Valley, but since my sample article for my job application was about the local hiking & beer scene, it’s been my claim to fame around the office. I’ve got no problems with it.

I absolutely love my job. I come into work every day ready to put my best foot forward and contribute to the local farm, food and beverage scene. It inspires me to read about, write about and experience the food and drink cultures around me. I want to somehow do it all and I’m not sure where to start: wine, beer, meat, cheese, agriculture—there’s so much involved! Since I’ve been plowing through books (currently on Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat—amazing, btw) please let me know if there are any smart reads on any of the above subjects. What are the holy texts of food? Contribute to my list of FIRSTS, give me some tips!

I’ve been on a journey

lifestyle

It’s been a long time. Much has happened. I went to Austria for 10 days, got a job when I returned and have been living in an ether of neither here nor there for almost a month. I went on my second interview two days after I came back from Austria and was offered the position on the next Monday which meant I had one week to figure it out.

It was Friday July 13 when I drove up to spend the weekend with my boyfriend with about 3 weeks of clothes packed in preparation. It was hot out. I drove for about 3 hours to get to my first destination of many to follow. I didn’t know how to pack for what I was about to experience. On the next Monday I drove back, another 2 hours, to spend the next few days with a family I grew very close with. I started my new job on Tuesday.

I dedicate this interlude to how much I love my job. It’s part-time for now (which I don’t love) but it might possibly be the perfect first job for me. I write about food, I talk about food and I think about food. That’s what I do. On some days I’m making phone calls and drafting emails. On other days I’m asking for a cider pairing recommendation. I’m at the epicenter of a farm-to-table movement, and I’m stoked to participate in the facilitation of the movement.

ANYWAY, I had to leave at some point. I’ll admit, I felt like that family accepted me as a part of their family. A tiny addition. I wanted to cry when I left because, honestly, it was my last shred of stability before the uncertainty of the next few weeks settled in. I left to go on another weekend adventure with my boyfriend. We went to Vermont, and truly I needed some peace. For the record, as of this point I only knew I had a second place to stay. So you can imagine that I could’ve laughed into tears at any point during this weekend.

My next stop, a temporary sublet. A friend of a friend offered her student housing for the month she’d be away before school started again. So here I am. In a room full of pictures of smiling friends, none of which are me. My suitcase is still on the floor. When I’m too alone, I feel it in my soul. Sometimes I can’t be rational about my feelings. I’m wearing a mask that says “I have everything under control” when I’m at work. But until just two days ago I had very few things under control. But two days ago I figured out a little more of the puzzle.

Two days ago I got approved for my first apartment. It needs some love I’ll give it that, but it’s my stability for the foreseeable future. I mean I can put my clothes in a closet and lay in a bed with a blanket that covers the entire mattress (and not my twin-size, powerpuff girl fleece blanket).

Now the last thing…that whole “part-time” bit. I’m working on it. I’m interviewing for any and all positions that need me. I’m giving BS answers to why I’m passionate about being a cashier. But simply I need the money. At least until I can finesse my beloved part-time job into a full-time job.

My mom said life is just a bunch of problems you need to figure it out. Or something like that. So I’m figuring it out. I’m discovering new things about myself–about what I love–and I’m excited about it. I’m scared but very, very excited.

The alone time ebbs and flows between empowering and lonely. One night I can feel the haunting silence of an empty four bedroom apartment creeping in around me, and the next day I could thrive in the sunlight making my rounds through the farmer’s market on my own. I haven’t felt this way since my adjustment to Florence over a year and a half ago. And yet, that was the beginning of the best transformation I’ve undergone in my short life. Which is why I’m excited. I know that these feelings of uncertainty and doubt can yield the best moments.