Lexd's Blog

I write about what I want!

Update: Mid-wedding, post-move, forever workout May 4, 2013

Filed under: food,life — lexd @ 4:54 am

There is just an incredible amount going on. Before I get into that, I’d like to just point out how much more quickly time moves now as opposed to how it moved when I was a kid. I’ve read a bunch of articles on how as you get older, each year is a smaller fraction of your life, so it seems to move more quickly … I’m kind of worried about how fast things will move when I get even older.

The long and short is, I’m pretty much enjoying life right now. We moved (YAY) and while I know both Fiance and I are missing the quick 10-minute bus ride to downtown Seattle (Pike Place, Westlake, Pacific Place, the stadiums, etc.) there’s something that is super appealing about suburbia right now. While we live damn near on the freeway, we’re protected from road noise, our patio faces an incredible greenbelt (so many bluejays alighted on our patio today!), and we always have parking. We’re 5 minutes away from Woodinville wine country, and about 10 minutes away from great breweries and a Wal-Mart. Also, in a new home with more space that I actually like, I’m more invested in keeping it clean. It feels livable, it feels more like home instead of a place where our stuff is.

The wedding is finally coming along. Booking vendors, getting things established. And boy, it is exhausting. We spent last weekend with my parents at the venue/doing vendor meetings and it actually took me two days to catch up on sleep. The honeymoon is booked (Aruba!), the menu’s decided, the dress is bought, the florist is booked and the photographer and DJ are in the process. Once we have us a cake and an officiant, we’re good to go! (Minus the 1,000,000 little decisions we still have to make …)

Work is good/work is stressful. PR is a serious balance. When it’s good, when I’m doing well and feeling good, with time to get all the stuff done I need to — MAN is it good. I love this job. I’m getting to work with both exec VPs and senior VPs directly on projects (unheard of for an AAE), as well as mentor another individual at our agency, and manage our peer group in addition to my normal campaign work. I feel needed. I feel valuable. I feel like I’m effective at what I do. The dark side: When things get stressful and I don’t have time to do anything but address/stave off crises … that’s a bad time. I’m quickly discovering this is often the case with executive comms programs: Things may seem okay for a few days, but go to hell in a handbasket very quickly.

At the risk of sounding like some Susan Powter-esque mouthpiece, I love working out. I love working out. I know when I’m grouchy, it’s probably because I haven’t been to the gym. The wedding is an easy excuse.

I suppose I should be more specific. I love lifting weights. I detest cardio, I get too bored too quickly. Same goes for yoga. In order to create a well-balanced workout routine, I’ve restarted the couch-to-5k program and even downloaded the app … literally I just do what the app says I need to do on the treadmill, while listening to music. It’s awesome. And, I downloaded some 20- and 30-min sessions off of YogaDownload.com and even did one today. I suppose my viewpoint on it is, if I’m going to do the fun stuff (lift super freaking heavy, 5-6 reps), I have to make sure I have the cardio and yoga in place to balance everything out. PS: Deadlifts. I’m finally doing them AND IT IS AWESOME. Talk about empowerment at the gym! SWOLE SISTER STATUS

7nkt95

Same for diet. I’ve shifted to about 1,600 cals a day (though I don’t always calculate) … lots of fruit, veggies, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs and hummus for the first two meals, and a healthy/normal meal for dinner (Fiance needs more cals).

Anyway, enough rambling, just thought it was overdue.

Currently loving: This recipe, though I only use about 1-1.5 T peanut butter and I omit the honey; this Macklemore song, video filmed all over western Washington! This song is straight sick; dresses (sheath, maxi, wrap, jersey … I have a “dress lust” list about a mile long from various retailers)

 

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Being hungover January 22, 2012

Filed under: life — lexd @ 8:14 pm
Tags: , , ,

Admittedly, this title is a little misleading. In no way is this post entirely about being hungover (which I am not … although it sounds like my neighbors upstairs weren’t so lucky).

Instead, I was having a discussion with fiance yesterday (yep, he’s fiance now! :D) about what we miss about college. At first, I was thinking, “oh, I miss just about everything. Only having class a couple hours a day, living with my best friends, partying whenever I wanted, entire classes about case studies (nerd, I know) …” and on and on and on.

Then, I got to thinking. This lifestyle wasn’t terribly fulfilling or rewarding. Seriously, there’s a sort of short-term joy that comes from getting a great grade on a paper you started 8 hours prior to the due date, and drinking with friends spurred some of my greatest memories from college. Hell, I met my fiance there and we managed to get through three years of dating at one of the bigger party schools on the west coast. (We did it in style, in case you’re wondering.)

The answer I came up with? NO.

While it may not always seem like it when I have to get up in the dark at 6 am and commute on buses for nearly 2 hours of my day, or when I am pretty much the sole housekeeper of our apartment, but the lifestyle I lead today is so much more rewarding — personally — than that which I lived in college. Let’s run down the list:

  • Classes a few hours a day: The reality is, I spent a lot of time doing homework. My classes were mostly comms, English and sociology, three of the most reading- and writing- intensive majors at our school. In no way am I trying to say I kept up with all the textbook reading (I think we all know how that is), but I certainly devoted more than 15 hours a week to school. Today? I work between 40-50 hours a week doing something I’m (surprisingly) passionate about, for a company and a team that is very good about respecting work/life balance. I get a shocking amount of time off, and my manager has not only not balked when I ask to take it, but strongly suggested I take more over the holiday break. Win.
  • Living with my best friends. It sounds cliche, but I already live with my best friend. I sincerely hope I never take this for granted, and after all the long distance we’ve done, I don’t think I will. Additionally, I now live within an hour of almost every single one of my best friends. I wish I saw them more, but it’s fascinating to me that when we hang out, it’s pretty clear how we’re all growing up together. Some (most) of these people have either known me for 20+ years, or have seen me in that great limit-expanding college stage, and it blows me away that we’ve gone from just getting absolutely shitty together, to talking about square footage, mortgages, marriage, kids, and more. It sounds dull, but there’s something very special about having these discussions with someone who has grown up with you.
  • Partying whenever I want: Truth be told, I could still party whenever I want. I make enough money to spend money on the sorts of snobby booze that I adore (craft beer and canadian whiskey, oh my), and there’s certainly no shortage of beer festivals and breweries to visit. (My parents actually bought us memberships to the Washington Brewers League for Christmas.) That said, I’ve come to realize that I feel better when I take care of my body. Going out big is fun every once in a while, but with age comes wisdom, and the wisdom I’ve gleaned says I HATE BEING HUNGOVER MORE THAN ALMOST ANYTHING ELSE ON EARTH.
  • Entire classes about case studies: Please get past the point that this is unreasonably nerdy. I read case studies in my spare time, for everything from corporate responsibility to lawsuits to crisis communications. Most are PR-related, some are not. This started in college. It was awesome. That said, part of my responsibility for my job is to OWN the entire evidence function of our team. That means I GET PAID TO READ CASE STUDIES and figure out how to best leverage them. Compete, mission-critical, business intelligence … you name it. I think I shocked my boss with how excited I was to get this opportunity.

College was awesome at the time, but stepping back to look at my life now vs. my life then makes it pretty clear. Live is awesome now, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. That said, the one thing I absolutely do not miss about college? Perpetually being hungover. (See point 3 above, and the title of this post.)

Currently loving: “Somebody that I used to know” by Gotye, Pinterest (if you want an invitation I will send you one), The League

 

Checklist for Your Mid-Twenties September 6, 2011

Filed under: life — lexd @ 7:16 pm
Tags: , , ,

And so ends what has been one of the busiest summers I can remember. I didn’t do a TON of traveling or anything, but it was a good mix of working hard, getting out to relax, and some BIG life changes:

A) BF is here!

B) We’re now in our third month of sharing a 800-sq.-ft. apartment in Lower Queen Anne. I hate parking and I hate traffic, but I am truly unable to express how much I love where we live. I can’t explain how it makes me feel to step outside our building and smell the ocean, hear the trains in the distance, see the sunset on the water. LQA has a great assortment of bars and restaurants, and two major grocery stores and my bank are 3 blocks away. Hipster level: Medium. Fully acceptable.

The view from my neighborhood on a nice day. BOOM

 

C) I walk or use public transportation to get absolutely everywhere with a Seattle address (this excludes work and parents’ house). If you know me, you know this has been a dream of mine. IT IS AS AWESOME AS I EXPECTED

D) Getting back into baking. The Stand Mixer has a place of serious esteem in our minikitchen … taking up valuable countertop real estate. That being said, I’m making it earn this place. Peach pie, banana bread, zucchini bread, and cookies galore. Good thing I’m walking everywhere …

In other (less cool) news, I hope I’m not the only one who has seen a lot of upheaval in 2011 … and not necessarily the good stuff. While I’ve been pretty lucky, a lot of my friends are facing some pretty challenging situations. I don’t want to get into details, but I’m trying my best to be there for them, and it’s reminding me of the value of friendship … something I’ve sort of been neglecting since we got back from San Diego in June. Resolution: Hang out more with my friends when it isn’t necessary. Working odd hours can make this challenging, but I do miss them.

In closing, check out this 10-item “Checklist for Your Mid-Twenties” that I did not write. While the vocabulary gets a little lofty at times, quite a few of these resonated with me (and, at age 26, I suppose they should, given the title). It may not be off base if you’re a little older, too. It’s kind of shocking sometimes to see the things that you are dealing with explained so succinctly.

Have a great (short) week everyone 🙂

Currently Loving: Those cartons of egg whites at the store … no more wasted yolks!, The Head and the Heart (if you’ve never heard of them, please listen … so chill), and zucchini bread. My parents have more zucchini they can handle … good thing the folks at work seem to like my baking!

Seattle image by dherrera_96

 

Happy Place April 29, 2011

Filed under: life,stress — lexd @ 9:34 pm
Tags: , ,

So, I keep thinking about the “About” page (ugghhh redundancy) on this website, and I realized how this blog has basically turned into my happy place. For some reason, I find myself posting here when things get pretty crazy, and I usually finish the posts feeling at least a little better.

That being said, currently dealing with the following:

  • A) Long-distance relationships are absolutely awful.
  • B) My beloved car got sideswiped (while I was parked, standing next to it) yesterday. Not driveable … extensive damage. Awaiting info from the insurance companies. Carless.
  • C) BF is moving up here in June (officially). I need to get my ass in gear regarding making money, saving money and finding us a place to live.
So, anxiety is pretty high. That being said, there are a few things that are managing to make me happy right now:
  • Looking into getting a wheelchair for my dog. I’m not sure how he’ll take to it, but it will be exciting if he does well with one. He’s still peppy and active, and it’s hard to watch him struggle to get around (when he’s clearly capable and desires to do so). If you have a corgi, like corgis or want to know more, check out Corgi Aid. Potentially one of the most responsive organizations I’ve worked with in a while! It took the rep about 2 minutes to respond to my initial email.
  • Two words: ROYAL WEDDING. I thought I was above getting excited about it, but I happened to be flipping channels today, saw some coverage on E! News, and was hooked. Everyone’s talking about the dress (rightfully so, gorgeous), but the first thing I thought is that Kate Middleton has a beautiful smile. How happy did she look? It made me happy just to watch. If you want the down-and-dirty, may I suggest The Wedinator’s coverage. And, not just because my friend works there, either 🙂
  • Nobody was hurt in the accident, thank goodness. Also, my friend who witnessed the crash CHASED THE CAR DOWN THE ROAD ON FOOT after it didn’t stop post-accident.
  • I am carless, but I am fortunate to have some of the best friends, coworkers and family in the world. There has been no lack of outpouring of support … people offering rides, legal advice, etc.
And, finally, my attempt to find a silver lining in getting hit: That damn dent that I got a week after I bought my car (the only blemish on my vehicle) was on the side that got messed up.
And, although this entire post is kind of “currently loving”, I feel I should do a breakdown anyway:
Currently Loving: The royal wedding (duh), spray tans (!!!), THESE sandals in black (zomg so cute, must have)
image is mine, taken while waiting for the police to arrive. unfortunately, that’s only one view — the other driver collided with the passenger side of my parked car and then scraped all the way along the vehicle. i am nervous to hear the damage estimate. i love that car so much. please send me good thoughts and mojo.
 

How Do You Slow Down? April 9, 2011

Filed under: life — lexd @ 9:24 pm
Tags: ,

While I’m actually somewhat of a homebody (and I can be obscenely lazy when the mood strikes), I’ve spent the last few months in a whirlwind of activity — particularly after my corporate stint ended. I’m not sure if it’s because my less-than-traditional schedule makes me a little neurotic about what I do with my time or what, but I’ve pretty much been working every single day (even if it’s just a lunch shift). I picked up some shifts at my dad’s office to help him out this last week, which meant I worked from 6:45 am to 2 pm, came home for a power nap and then worked from 3 or 4 to 1 or 2 am. Earlier this week I had to decide between eating or sleeping.

While this week has been a pretty extreme example of how busy I’ve been, it’s fair to say that I usually don’t have a lot of unscheduled time during my days. Even if it’s social time spent hanging out with friends, I haven’t been home lately … at all.

That being said, I had ALL DAY yesterday off, and don’t work until 4:30 this afternoon. When I woke up yesterday morning, I didn’t really know what to do with myself. I’d deep-cleaned my room already this week, cleaned our bathroom, done everything with my taxes except actually PAY them, painted my nails, donated clothes to Goodwill … all of the normal errand-type stuff I usually do was taken care of. Still, it took a good couple hours Friday morning for me to come to terms with the fact that I didn’t have any plans for the day. To further cope, I actually slept for most of the day in front of VH1’s “Top 100 Rock Songs.”

That’s right, I actually slept away my day off. I imagine it was a combination of the following:

  • Feeling less-than-awesome after a night of wine tasting, karaoke and miscellaneous cocktails
  • Legitimately needed to catch up on sleep
  • Anxiety at not having plans. Sleep made the day go by faster.

While the first two are acceptable, the last bullet makes me a little worried. I always considered myself sort of a workaholic, but sleeping away my days off doesn’t really sound like the Lex I thought I knew.

On a slightly related note, I am considering picking up a second serving job at a wine bar in a nearby town. Currently weighing the pros and the cons. Because clearly I need something else on my plate.

Anyway, I guess the point I’m dawdling around here is my inability to be okay with slowing down — even for just 36 hours. Anyone have any coping mechanisms, or am I alone in being this way? I’m okay with being slightly Type A, but this just strikes me as silly.

Currently loving: The Yankees rising to the challenge and putting the Red Sox back where they belong, “Sleepyhead” by Passion Pit, dark chocolate with sea salt 😀

image by dannysullivan

 

The Final Countdown April 1, 2011

Filed under: life,love — lexd @ 5:21 pm
Tags: , , , ,

If you’ve ever been in a long distance relationship, you probably already know that they often exist in phases — generally speaking, the countdown until you get to see one another again. Because really … what else is there to look forward to?

Wednesday morning, BF and I started our final countdown. The next time we see each other, he will be on the west coast, having driven across the country. The details of this meetup are still being decided (there’s a wedding we’d like to attend in Napa, and he’d like to just be in the area when it happens), including important details like THE DATES. Looks like he’ll be here in June, though 😀

My time in Orlando was fantastic for several reasons. First and foremost, I saw BF all day every day except for Tuesday (he had to work). I got to go to a Yankees spring training game. We got to do a lot of cooking (something we both really enjoy). I caught up on some movies and TV shows, and I made him watch Despicable Me. I got my sunshine quota (and my sunburn quota, apparently). I also realized that I do not miss the Orlando area at all. I am fully convinced that the only reason I stayed as long as I did was BF and all my friends there. At the risk of being too dramatic, that area is a hellhole to me.

I also learned that I love to travel, but I hate the process of traveling. I experienced the worst flight I have ever taken (when the captain says, “please hold on, we are in for a rough ride” he isn’t kidding) — not just bumpy turbulence, but drops lasting 5-10 seconds in duration … for an hour and a half. I cried not out of fear of crashing (which was interesting to realize), but because I was desperate not to feel that my-stomach-is-in-my-throat feeling you get on roller coasters anymore. I arrived in Minneapolis in one piece, but in tears and with an adrenaline hangover. I also decided that every airport should have a pharmacy that dispenses Valium. I could have used it.

On the bright side, I got to listen to the new Adele album (BF’s computer has all my music, and it was so nice to update!), and I read a LOT: re-read all three Hunger Games books, as well as the second book in the Odd Thomas series, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, and I started Alice in Wonderland. I love vacations. I would also recommend any of the above books. Additionally, I decided that it’s too easy to buy books on the Kindle (good for Amazon, bad for me!).

Yesterday was sort of a crash course back into the normalcy of non-vacation life. Sort of jetlagged (3 hours is just enough to be annoying), I drank way too much coffee and managed to jitter my way through a lunch shift. I know I’ve said how much I enjoy my job (and I do), but yesterday it didn’t captivate me the way it has for the last month or so. Oddly enough, this realization coincided with a job interview at a non-profit here in Seattle. It was my first-ever phone interview, and I ended it feeling like I did really well. It was truly a double-sided interview — being employed definitely gives you a chance to better evaluate potential job opportunities without feeling like you have to take them. I enjoyed the conversation I had with the executive director, and I feel like my skill set would be a good match for the job. (It involves RESEARCH!!) The issue is, it’s non-profit and it was a (probably appropriate) red flag that the low pay for the job was mentioned in the first interview.

I’m supposed to hear back in 2-3 weeks, so we’ll see where that goes! I’m spending much of the day Saturday evaluating potential places to live for BF and I — we’ve no idea if we want to look for a place that can accommodate roommates, which neighborhood in Seattle, apartment or rent a house, etc. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m really looking forward to it. Talk about a step in the right direction!

Currently Loving: My Kindle (no joke), Fable 2 (got back into it after playing Fable 3 at BF’s place), getting all my bills paid for the month! WOOT

seattle skyline image courtesy of dherrera_96 (I know it’s randomly placed and huge, but I like the photo, darnit)

delray beach, fl sunset photo courtesy of dawnhops

 

Getting it all out of the way March 20, 2011

Filed under: life,other — lexd @ 8:57 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Again, with the dormancy. So much for working on blogging more in 2011.

The last 1 2/3 months have been pretty tumultuous for me. In a nutshell:

  • My badass (and last living) grandmother Gloria passed away a month and a day prior to her 80th birthday
  • I got laid off, with less than a week’s notice
  • Long-distance is really starting to take its toll on my relationship with BF.

I think I hardly need to go into my grandmother’s death. Unlike the passing of my other two grandparents, we had time to prepare for this, and she was in so much pain all the time. Privately, her physician told my dad that he couldn’t believe she was still holding on — her body was completely failing. If this makes sense, it was hoped for but unwanted. We held a nice service, told stories about her, and drank Carlo Rossi Sangria in memoriam at a shindig later at her home. I am hesitant to expose family dirty laundry on this forum, but dealing with the estate has been challenging, and unfortunately has brought out the bad side in some folks. However, I cannot say enough good things about the Franciscan Hospice in Tacoma, WA. She spent a little over a month there, and between the massages, daily ice cream carts, and daily allowances of sangria (her favorite), I think her last month was as comfortable as it could have been. Their involvement was truly a blessing.

I am now also a product of the economy — laid off from a corporate job. Yes, I was contract, but it was cut short three months early with 6 days notice. I would also like to note that this is the first job that I haven’t left of my own accord. And, I loved it there, in case I didn’t make that clear on previous posts. I cried a LOT when they told me, I cried a lot all the way home, and I cried really hard when I told BF. While it was strictly a business decision (and my colleagues there have been wonderful in helping me find new career employment), I let it hurt my feelings … inadviseable. I worked so hard there, and I was so disappointed.

That being said, the timing was right. Better last month than the month before BF moves up here, and the bar I’m working at was actually looking for someone to pick up some extra hours — bingo. I’m currently working there full-time, and freaking loving it. I enjoyed working one day a week, but I so love my coworkers, the environment and the fast pace. I can honestly say I look forward to going in to every shift.

Both the bar job and the long-distance are starting to take a toll on my relationship, however. I work odd hours, so BF and I don’t get to talk much. When we do, I guess I come across as terse and uninterested. Clearly that’s not the case on my end, but it’s hard to figure out how to fix it when we only get to talk for about 20 minutes a day. I don’t want to air our shared dirty laundry on here, but we are currently trying to manage each other’s expectations and attitudes in a way that becomes a win-win for both of us. We’re both growing resentful of each other (he of all the fun I’m having up here, at work and socially), and I’m growing resentful of his inaction regarding job searching, committing to a date to move, etc. We’re working on these things because we love each other, but I can honestly say the last couple months have been the most challenging we’ve had in more than 6 years. It’s a good thing I get to go see him on Wednesday!

Anyway, looking forward, I get to spend a week in Orlando (while the fam spends 4 days in Vegas, jealous!), I am really enjoying my job, as un-career as it is, and am still squirreling money away so I can move out in the next couple months. I am spending time with old friends, reconnecting with others, making new ones, and enjoying the hell out of living in the Seattle area. Still glad I moved? You betcha.

Currently loving: “Ratatat” by Lex, SUN DRESSES, and that I’m comfortably back into my early-college Lucky Jeans!!