Cologne is Distracting

A few months back, we at The Drive started brainstorming what a good “distracted driving” test would be. Knowing we’d have our cameras rolling, we all agreed that the test should of course be safe (think: closed-course-safe), and it should of course be ridiculous.

Many ideas were thrown around, but when the day (at historic Lime Rock Park) came, we settled on a seemingly mundane challenge — complete two laps around the autocross track while being sprayed repeatedly in and around the face with cologne (specifically Curve Crush for Men).

Here now is Distracted Driving Autocross — /COLOGNE CHALLENGE:

Editor’s note: Hope you enjoy the mosaic blur on Will’s chest, because that was a pain in the ass to add. But of course, #worthit.

Is Twitter Still a Thing?

As a person-who-gets-paid-to-put-things-on-the-internet (I like to call it show business, much to the chagrin of my fiancé), I think I have a pretty good handle (PUN) on social media. But I have never gotten into Twitter. It’s just too much.

I look at Facebook every day — it’s open constantly at work (see above re that whole put-things-on-the-internet thing), as we/The Drive are part of its brand -infiltrated ecosystem. Personally, I use it to showcase work things and to post pictures I want my mom to see. Instagram feels much more naturally appealing to me, for both work and play. Maybe it’s because I communicate there via visual terms, but I buy into what it’s offering me. I peruse, I like, I post, I comment. And I never feel overwhelmed.

Ahhhh!

But Twitter? I hesitate to open it. To me, Twitter is a menacing, swirling 24-hour everything cycle, threatening to drown me in a massive wave of constant updates. Mere seconds after loading, I see that I have already missed 15 new tweets. That little-but-constantly-growing number yells at me and makes me sweat.

YOU ARE MISSING THINGS! YOU ARE ALREADY BEHIND ON THE LATEST TWITTER HAS TO OFFER. MY GOD, WOMAN, REFRESH! SCROLL! NOW YOU’RE 40 TWEETS BEHIND! YOU ARE VERY BAD AT TWITTER.  

To be fair, Twitter was incredibly helpful for injury updates during my time at MLB.com, but I had to filter what I was looking for in order to avoid bombardment. And I certainly have never figured out what I am supposed to be writing on there. More aggressive versions of the (now fairly defunct) Facebook status updates? My quoted comments on someone else’s tweets? Sometimes I’ll go on a little retweet spree, but the juice just isn’t worth the squeeze.

Twitter has reportedly been going through growing pains, or usage pains, or it’s dying — it really depends on who you ask. But because it still has a robust user network and the potential to make money, of course it is still technically a thing. I’d just really like it to be less of a thing so I can stop feeling guilty about not wanting to participate.

Look Mom, I Can Fly

At my day job, we have been tapping into the world of drones — filming drones, racing drones, micro drones…pretty much all the drones except the military ones. Part of it for us, is accessibility. And being a video producer, I felt that meant understanding the barrier to entry when it comes to filming drones.

Below, watch my maiden flight with the DJI Mavic Pro, a portable drone capable of 4K at 30fps. It seems like when we shot this I was both cold (holy layers) and had a cold (holy voice), but super fun to see it all put together. And it kind of makes me want to fly again…

**Special thanks to my work husband, Andrew, for teaching me about the dronez.

Cars on the Radio

People have been commenting on my deep voice for as long as I can remember. It was once something I was made fun of for (ah, middle school memories), but over time, it became something considered unique, even desirable. Recently, members of The Drive were asked to voice automotive quotes for a podcast on the “Horseless Carriage”:

When the car began replacing the horse, pessimists didn’t treat it like a great new tool. They called it “the devil wagon,” and said its mission was to destroy the world. We explore understand why the horseless carriage was so scary—and what it took to to finally put horse-lovers behind a wheel.

A bit of my voice made the cut (be sure to perk up around 24:58), but take a listen to the whole thing.

Polishing a Turd

We need to laugh to keep from crying, right? With that in mind, I present GQ‘s presidential makeover video. The men’s fashion mag assesses The Donald’s rich-frumpy-white-man style with Joan Rivers-esque sharpness (RIP), while providing him with tips on how to update his look. But as the video description notes, unfortunately they “can’t help with anything Donald Trump says or anything he does.”

 

Take It Down a Notch For America

On October 30, 2010, I attended the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington DC. The rally was satirical in nature (a brainchild of fake political nemeses John Stewart and Stephen Colbert) but very real in its ability to draw people together. Well over 200,000 frustrated humans made their way to Washington to protest politics in general and the surging tide of in-fighting and ineptitude in Congress. To quote an attendee, “the absurdity of the rhetoric has just gotten out of line.” To quote another, “screaming about death panels, screaming that they’re going to take $500 billion out of Medicare. To be screaming like you’re a bunch of kindergarten children having tantrums is ridiculous.”

On this 2017 Inauguration Day, with rhetoric once again ramped up, I found it fitting to look back at some of the choice signs I came across at that rally seven years ago.

 

 

Road-tripping with an Independent Doggo

I co-parent a six-year-old black lab named Oscar. He’s an incredibly lovable, dopey dog almost one hundred percent of the time. But sometimes he presents as an animal with selective hearing. On a recent road trip from Brooklyn to Pittsburgh, Oscar refused to sit or lay down, despite repeated pleading from his mother. This may have been due to a (tiny) nudge-in-the-sleepy-direction dose of Benadryl distributed prior to departure, or it could’ve been because he doesn’t especially love riding in a car for six plus hours. Either way, I am pleased to present the joys of road-tripping with Oscar.

 

2014: WHAT I’VE LEARNED (ABOUT LIFE, LOVE, LOSS, AND LIVING IN A BIG CITY).

As my birthday looms, I’ve been reflecting on all kinds of shit, and I realized I needed to completely jump into 2015 before I was ready to write about 2014. It was one hell of a year, and I’m still not over it. 2015 feels like a made-up number. It’s the future, and yet it’s here.

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I started 2014 in the dark. After a summer of baseball-fueled night shifts, I continued to make my winter money after the sun went to sleep. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise — your social life can feel like a pipe dream when you are on a completely different schedule than all of your friends (and potential persons-of-significance). The melancholy that seems to come standard with sleepless nights tangled with other aches of mine in the chill of winter. I struggled mightily to understand how an unbelievably sweet person (who happens to be my aunt) could be diagnosed with cancer. I learned, heartbroken, I was to be grandparent-less when my Nana, whose presence and love was a constant in my life, passed away in March.

The sun started shining again, though. As the weather warmed, I took in visits from friends and family. I went dancing. I learned how ridiculously lucky I am to have parents who are willing to embrace this city, embrace new things, and (attempt to) stay out late. And dance.

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As lovely as the spring was, nothing compares to the magic of last summer. Friends of mine started to get married, and I traveled to Pennsylvania and New Jersey to witness their commitments. My sister said yes to making a commitment of her own and in the process, gifted me a brother (in-law). I moved (back) in with my best friend and practiced the joy of drinking a beer on a balcony with a view. I played softball with a ridiculously great group of women (a season only slightly marred by our lack of winning prowess and my torn meniscus). And one night after a particularly fun set of games, I learned that it’s possible to meet someone in a bar who will change your life.

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I traveled to Ireland (my first transatlantic journey) at the end of August for a Penn State football game and left that country with a set of memories so fantastic and pictures so green they don’t look real. I drove on the left (wrong) side of the rode, experienced the thrill of sharp rainbows and misty cliffs, and felt how important traveling is to me. Potentially most importantly, I learned that I have friends willing to trespass with me for the chance to stand in front of a relic of my ancestors (Hurley Castle below: Aunt Eileen/Pappy/Nana in 1987; me in 2014).

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The fall blew in its sweater weather, and my sleepless nights grew longer, synchronized with the growing intensity of the MLB playoffs. I clung to brunches with my chosen family, saw more live music than I should’ve been able to, made a trip back to State College, and savored time (and wine) with my family in Pittsburgh. As the chill in the air sharpened, I hosted family in an apartment finally big enough to host, and I cried when I saw my sister in what will be her wedding dress. I breathed in the smell of Christmas trees on the sidewalk and cherished their lingering scent long after they left their posts. I learned how important it is to invest in those that never leave you. And I learned that somehow my heart is more patient than I thought.

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Teach me something, 2015.

Well, this is awkward.

youre-not-paying-me-enough-attention-to-notice-that-im-ignoring-you-c4567
I realize I haven’t written on this thing in over a year. It’s like we were dating and then I got weird and stopped being in touch. Sorry about that.

There were so many things I wanted to talk about… Jason Collins and then Michael Sam, the Ray Rice firestorm, anything/everything baseball in 2014… but for some reason, I couldn’t find my words. Also I was exhausted (working at night — thanks, baseball — will do that to you).

And so, as 2015 looms, I want to say that I’ll be better. I’ll be in touch. I won’t let it get weird.

Stay tuned for a meatier entry — next up: What I Learned in 2014

On Baseball in 2013.

MLB: ALCS-New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers
Baseball in 2013 was crazy. It was explosive, it was dramatic, it was long (setting the record for most extra-inning games in a season)… and it is over.

I somehow miss baseball, even though the season only just left me. I know we now get to see who stays and who goes, who will sign a ridiculous contract, which players – if any – accept a qualifying offer, but it just doesn’t compare to the drama of actual games.

And of course, if you know me at all, the games I miss most are those of the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates. Baseball’s Cinderella team, the Pirates registered a winning season after a multi-decade drought, reached the playoffs via the Wild Card, and advanced to the NLDS before eventually falling to 2013’s silver medalists, the St. Louis Cardinals. The Pittsburgh guts on display this year were both remarkable and refreshing to a longtime fan accustomed to witnessing a general lack of perseverance. You just couldn’t count them out, no matter the inning or the score.

Another gutsy squad – perhaps the gutsiest of all – was undoubtedly the Boston Red Sox. Coming from the depths of last place in 2012 to ascend to World Series Champions in 2013 was no small task, and the heart that emerged in that bearded platoon was something you couldn’t ignore, regardless of who you root for. Following the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, the city needed a win, and their beloved Red Sox gave them many, including the Game 6 victory over the Cardinals that put a bow on 2013.

Beyond the Pirates and the Red Sox, we saw another remarkable year from Miguel Cabrera, who remained the most dangerous hitter in baseball, as only he can despite injury. We saw a nearly untouchable Clayton Kershaw stay as dominant as ever until his very last start. Another Dodger, rookie Yasiel Puig, exploded onto baseball consciousness in a way few ever have. And though improbable at the outset, we saw Chris Davis crank 53 home runs, eclipsing his previous season-best by 20.

As I write this, the above feel like broad-stroke bullet points after following baseball every single day this season. It’s impossible to cover everything notable, intriguing, or awe-inspiring that happened, and it’s certainly not my intention to do so. I guess my brain just needs some sort of peace with how I spent the last eight months of my life.

This offseason, I’ll be turning my attentions to the broader world of sports (a less cryptic update likely to come soon). And I guess the hirings, firings, money and movement on the baseball front are going to have to cut it for me until the first bats crack and pants get dirty on February 21, 2014.