Sunday, May 27, 2007

Friends, Coffee, Blogs, Servers, and Grocery Stores (Oh My!)

Yesterday turned out to be a pretty good day, despite the drizzly weather. (Today's nice and sunny!) Here's the run-down on what I did yesterday:

24-Year-Old Female Not Actually a 40-Year-Old Male

I hadn't managed to make any real friends at the Spanish-English intercambio I attended, and I haven't really hung out socially with my coworkers, so two days ago I turned to Craigslist's "strictly platonic" section to see if there were other friend-deficient Seattle newcomers looking for companionship. After ignoring the many anything-but-platonic postings, I responded to one 24-year-old who said she lived in Capitol Hill (the next neighborhood over from me).

We emailed back and forth a few times. She didn't sound creepy, so when she emailed me yesterday to let me know she'd be at the Bauhaus (a nice coffee shop within walking distance of me), I walked over there after stopping by the library to pick up Cryptonomicon. ("Finally!!1!!eleventy-one!" I hear Forrest and Jerry say.)

I'd never responded to "personal ads" on Craigslist before, nor met up with someone from the Internet that I hadn't even spent 24 hours conversing with first. So I was a little concerned that this "Claire" person would turn out to be some scary 40-year-old guy looking to stalk unsuspecting women. But Claire turned out to be honest: she is, in fact, a 24-year-old female.

We chatted for while, did the basic "what do you do? what are your hobbies and interests?" exchange. She's a copy editor (she both works for a company and has her own business through which she does freelancing. She's in a long-distance relationship too, but she combines her visits with business-related meetings so she can write off the travel expenses. I need me a freelancing gig! ;) (She's lucky that her "long-distance" is only to Spokane; interstate long-distance relationships really suck [especially when said states are big western states].)

We seemed to get along, so hopefully we'll meet up again at some point. It'd be great to actually have a real friend up here within walking distance. (Shane, you're awesome, but... Eastside! Ugh! ;) Not so conducive to causal hanging-outage.)

Coffee Cupping

Claire and I chatted for about an hour and a half, but we might have chatted longer if it weren't for a coffee training/educational session at 2 PM. I found out about the session through and decided to go. It ended up being pretty cool.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters put on the session for about 10 of us random MeetUp people. They talked about their coffee beans, then showed us how to do taste-testing. We sampled six different beans from Guatemala, Brazil, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Sumatra, plus a the "hair bender" blend meant specifically for espresso shots. In the world of coffee, this taste-testing is called "cupping." Sounds vaguely dirty, but try not to think about it.

Based on the samples, it turns out I prefer "full-bodied" coffees. I suspect this is from growing up with my dad's French roast coffees. I just didn't like the lighter coffees much. The Ethiopian one, though, was really different — the description claimed it was fruity, but I've never been able to match wine/chocolate/coffee tasting descriptions with what my taste buds actually taste.

At the end of the session, we got a little half-bag of coffee (I took the full-bodied Guatemalan) in exchange for our $5. I made myself a cup this morning; it was yummy (especially with the addition of Bailey's, heh).

Discovered New(-to-me) Psychology Blogs

Then I went home and played around on the internet. I discovered (via PsyBlog) a bunch of new-to-me psychology blogs:

New Server and Monitor, Free!

Then, Chuck called to let me know I could come pick up his old 700 MHz machine that he'd previously said I could have. I drove over and snatched it from his porch, then found a free monitor on the next block! So I'm going to install Ubuntu Server on it — just as soon as I get a keyboard. Oops.

New Grocery Store 2 Blocks Away

Finally, I discovered that M Street Grocery finally opened, just two blocks from where I live. I bought some CPK garlic chicken pizza and strawberry mochi ice cream. And I was even able to chew the pizza. Happy!


Unknown said...

I'm excited that you're reading Cryptonomicon! There's so much good stuff in there. Hopefully you can come DDRing with us again soon. Perhaps tomorrow?