Unicorns and Espresso and Apps – Oh My!

On Monday, we celebrated K’s birthday.

This is our first “event” during this pandemic. And I know it really bothered K that we weren’t able to do anything BIG or go anywhere. I’m not sure how I would have felt if it was my birthday. Part of me wouldn’t care because of how I feel about my birthday, but if you want to know a secret, part of me would probably care.

There are times where I wonder what it’s like to “allow” people to celebrate my birthday or just be aware of it enough to throw some confetti on my desk, or give me a card.

I had to work on Monday, and since I had meetings almost all day long, there wasn’t any chance of getting off early, so extravagant birthday celebrations were pretty limited. I’ve held onto a couple of gifts for about a month, so that part was taken care of at least.

I stopped off this pizza place that’s right by the apartment. We’ve eaten there maybe twice, but I’ve been there a couple of times – in fact, it’s the first pizza place I ever went to when I first moved here and was still living in a hotel.

There was one birthday request – and that was a cake. Unfortunately, most of the grocery store bakeries aren’t doing custom/made to order cakes, so I was at the mercy at whatever “regular” cakes the store had.

I did find THE MOST AMAZING cake ever – a Unicorn Ice Cream Cake. Described as a “creamy pink and blue swirled cake batter flavored ice cream layers with delicious confetti cake; crowned with whipped topping, fun sprinkles and a sweet pink drizzle.”


Who knew. It was a hit.

Since it was K’s day, I told her that she should be able to watch whatever she wants. She picked The Rescuers.

I’m not certain, but I’m pretty sure that I’ve never seen this movie before. I know of it, but I wasn’t familiar with it at all.

Well, that’s not exactly true. I had a tiny familiarity with the movie only because David Petersen drew this awesome poster for the movie (we have one of the posters above our television in fact.)

Our is signed though because we’re FANCY!

It was pretty cool seeing these characters come alive in the movie.

Unfortunately, I had to call it an early evening. I was beyond exhausted. In fact, I didn’t even go into work the following Tuesday. While I blamed it on allergies (they were bugging me), I think it was just being utterly exhausted. Physically, mentally, emotionally – just exhausted.

I slept almost 12 hours that night, and then promptly did nothing while I stayed home other than watch 10 hours of television. Yes, ten hours of television.

The rest of the week has been a blur for the most part. I haven’t ran since last Saturday, I’ve still been exhausted (not even tired – just exhausted.) It’s strange.

One thing that I do remember is that our espresso machine arrived!

I’ve been eyeballing one for quite some time, but just never pulled the trigger. I was good with my AeroPress, and K liked the fancy drip machine I got. But last week on Instagram, my friend Jennie (from LJ) posted something about her new espresso machine, so we started messaging about what she got, and then before you knew it, I bought the same one.

Using our Colorado tax return, I purchased the Breville Bambino Plus. It was on sale (so was the other model I usually looked at – the Breville Barista Express.)

I have a pretty decent grinder, so getting a machine with a built-in grinder seemed like a waste of the $200 upgrade fee, plus the smaller footprint works really well for our counters. The small footprint though is the cause of my biggest issue with the machine – because it’s so small, it’s not very heavy, so when you use the portafilter, you practically have to bear hug the machine. I did see this in the reviews, and Jennie even said it was her one complaint, but how could it be.

Well, it’s a pain. But it’s not a show stopper. I’m really liking having espresso in the morning. I was just making americanos, but I bought a bunch of half and half and now I make sugar free vanilla breves. And you know, they’re DELICIOUS!

Whoops – I just published this and forgot to comment on the Apps part of the subject.

I used to complain quite a bit about all of the places who want you or require you to download an app to do something useless. I really hate “having” to have a Safeway app just to save extra money – just give me the price dammit. What’s funny though is that I love my Starbucks app, even though carrying the physical card accomplished the same thing.

Anyway, I was paying a bunch of medical bills this morning (K had another kidney stone issue – and let’s just say that trying to get relatively basic medial care during this pandemic is a pain in the ass. Neither one of us wanted another $4k ER bill (like last year!) but your options for care are significantly more limited today.

Even with insurance, that one issue (one video consultation, one in person consultation, lab work, a cat scan, and review of cat scan) cost over $1100. It’s just ridiculous.

Where was I – oh yeah – paying the bills. Everyone of the bills told you to download their app. I don’t want to download an app to pay a damn bill. All three places practically hid the regular URL to pay the bill. It was just frustrating.

But the breaking point was while trying to activate a digital copy of a Bluray that I purchased. Almost every digital copy of a movie I own, you would either go to Movies Anywhere, or iTunes and just enter the code. But not John Wick 3. They TOLD you to download an app just to scan a tiny QR code. Which of course then you’re required to grant all sorts of permissions and you can’t even opt out of their marketing. But they did give you the “option” to download without the app, but the code won’t work. So I download the stupid app, and it won’t even work right.

I know why everyone wants the apps – because you grant them all sorts of permissions – location and contacts and email and usage stats. If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.

It’s just frustrating.

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