Lexd's Blog

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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

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On Mountains February 9, 2011

Filed under: other,rant — lexd @ 11:33 pm
Tags: , , , ,

So, it’s been 6 months since I moved back here, and I am still stoked. Not just because of beautiful days like today (it’s cold but NO CLOUDS NO RAIN BRING ON THE SUN) … for a lot of reasons. One of these is MOUNTAINS.

For those of you who have only lived in the Pacific Northwest (or anywhere with substantial mountainous terrain), you may not realize how freaking awesome they are. While I love the beaches of Florida, it always felt like a little something was missing from the horizon. Having grown up in Washington, THERE WAS SOMETHING MISSING.

BEHOLD:

image from ellie

All kidding aside, this is exactly what you would see on a clear day as you went around your business anywhere in the Seattle area (including the Eastside). This, friends, was a part of the backdrop for me. And, I never realized how accustomed I’d grown to mountains until I moved somewhere without them.

Don’t get me wrong, Florida has incredible sunsets and amazingly lush greenery. But when it comes down to it, I still smile every time I catch a view of the mountains around here. This is a shot up on Snoqualmie Pass, about an hour from my house (I-90 runs through the Pass):

image from starmist1

And this was taken at an unidentified point in the Cascades. I’m sure it was massaged with Photoshop, but do you see what I’m getting at? The greenery and mountains up here are &$^%*#@ epic:

image from christygordon

I am kind of struggling right now, because the photos don’t quite do the views justice. It’s one thing to be looking at a photo … and then it’s another entirely to actually see an incredible view like that in person. Particularly so when you are doing something mundane like driving to the dry cleaner, or the grocery store.

Especially when it’s the big daddy:

image from dizfunkshinal

Every. Single. Time. I see this mountain, it makes me happy. While I’m sure the above photo was also Photo-massaged, here’s one that’s not quite the same quality … but Rainier still looks incredible.

image from jay galvin

Imagine seeing that during your commute 🙂

That being said,  a “clear day” is required to partake in this natural beauty. And I suppose at that point, the joke is on us. According to Seattle’s Wikipedia entry, the city has — on average — at least partly cloudy skies 294 days a year.

Enough with the photo-ing. My name is Lex, and I %^$#@(* love mountains (even though I can’t ski, board, sled, or climb, and I hate the cold). I still love them.

Currently loving (besides mountains): “Panic Switch” by the Silversun Pickups, this columnist’s response to the question “How do I know if she loves me?” (sent it to BF and apologized for never making him a shark-shaped pancake), fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu comics

 

 

Bring on the positive! January 31, 2011

Filed under: other — lexd @ 7:51 pm
Tags: , ,

While a blog post drought is no way to start off the year, I didn’t feel very good about any of the posts I (tried) to put together over the last month. And I mean that very literally. After writing, and then reviewing my work (all my English teachers would be so proud), I was just left with an icky feeling. I’d start strong (and interesting, I like to think), but by the end it just ended up spiraling into something negative.

The biggest indicator that something wasn’t right was that I had a hard time coming up with stuff that I was “Currently Loving.” Seriously not cool.

There’s been a whole lot of not-fun stuff going on, and it takes a lot of energy for me to stay positive in my interactions with others in the face of it. And, to stay positive to myself (although this tends to slip). Clearly that was manifesting itself in my writing, so I just nixed it for the time being, and figured I’d know when I had things swinging in the right direction again.

Things are still not 100% peachy-keen, but I’m starting to feel at peace with things. As Epictetus says, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” I have no idea who Epictetus is/was, but I really enjoy his way of thinking.

That being said, watch me turn some negatives into positives! 😀

 

-I haven’t been to the gym regularly since 2010. Waiting for machines makes me really crabby. I’m taking this opportunity to really take in to account what I put into my body. It’s been pretty illuminating. I’m also taking this opportunity to get back into yoga with YogaDownload.com. They have cool podcasts using weights and focusing on cardio!


-For some reason I am less excited about food than normal. Again, this is really good timing for me. Without the usual urges/cravings, I’ve been able to eat pretty clean and identify what foods make me feel good (and those that make me feel not so good).

 

-Cabin fever is starting to set in at home, and we are all really rubbing each other the wrong way. While I don’t want to air my family’s dirty laundry, there are a few specific things that are going on right now that are exacerbating the situation. This sounds terrible, but since home isn’t always a 100% fun place to be, I am reaching out to friends again for happy hours and weekend adventures. I haven’t seen most people for 3-4 weeks, and I miss them! They are a big part of the reason I moved here, after all.

 

-I really, really REALLY REALLY miss BF. This period of separation has been so much harder than any we’ve been through before … probably because we built a life together, and I saw him pretty much every day for three years. I did the math last week, and if I continue with my current income/saving pattern, I will be out of credit card debt by mid-March and have more in my savings account than I’ve had since high school. As you can imagine, that sets us up pretty solid for when BF moves up here.

 

-Taxes are going to be a &%*$# this year. I have 3 W-2s to file, and 1 1099. And, I will probably be paying a LOT. I have been saving faithfully since November, and I will be able to cover the taxes, no sweat, even in a “worst case” scenario of having to dish out 20% of what I made while I was freelancing. Plus, after doing the math (see above), I will still be in good shape by the end of April.


Magic, right? 😉 To make up for lost time, here’s a bunch more stuff I’m Currently Loving:

  • Got oil changed in my car: Perfect checkup. And, they vacuumed the floor!
  • Opened at the restaurant on Saturday, got to listen to Radiohead for about 3 hours straight
  • Was told I’m performing very well at the restaurant, I’m a strong, steady go-to worker.
  • Got paperwork from BF to register my car in WA. Let the re-plating process commence!
  • One of my best friends got engaged on Saturday (I screamed when I got the text, and then called her and screamed AGAIN when she picked up, I am such a girl)
  • I bought Kirby’s Epic Yarn – and streamlined my video game to-finish list (it’s kind of intimidating, but I suppose I am up to the challenge) 😉
  • This recipe from Serious Eats. I am definitely making this for the Superbowl.

awesome photo from SFB579. Sunrises/sunsets make me happy, so I figured, “why not?”

 

 

Crazy Forces at Work December 16, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 11:10 pm
Tags: , ,

Either I have a tendency to be obscenely lucky and score awesome coworkers (obligatory “knock on wood” right here), or people are just cooler than I ever anticipated.

Also, UNINTENDED DOUBLE MEETING IN THE POST TITLE. My work is done here.

Currently loving: My coworkers (both past and current), today’s weather in Seattle, and one of my best friends in the whole world being home from overseas!

 

It’s a Big Day … September 4, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 4:58 pm
Tags: , , , ,

COLLEGE FOOTBALL SATURDAY!!! 😀

As I type this, it’s nearly 10 am PST, and I am already reppin my alma mater (Washington State University. We are the worst in the NCAA. I know. I KNOW.) I took a series of self-pictures using my iPhone to show you, but needless to say they were terrible. I drank last night, woke up late this morning, haven’t eaten … and just generally look a mess.

So, I took a picture of my festive morning beverage: green monster in a beer “stein” from Germany at Epcot. I dine in style, what can I say? And then my email said “no way Jose” and blocked both emails. So no photo for you.

Anyway, last night I bailed on my family’s game and pizza night to hang out with some old (and new!) friends for a BBQ in Kirkland. Their apartment is insane, let me tell you. Straight up over the water, a couple of blocks from downtown. I took pictures and sent them to BF. Unfortunately I cannot post these either, but suffice it to say it was incredible.

Anyway, you know those “I’m belly-laughing so hard that I’m crying and I don’t care” laughs? I have had approximately four of those in the last six months … well, four in the last four weeks, actually. They’ve all been since I moved back here. I love all my friends in Florida (they are the only reason I stayed as long as I did), but there’s something about hanging out with people who have known you forever (and love you anyway) that makes it easier to achieve those awesome soul-lifting laughs. Especially when they remind you of that time you passed out when Jason Mraz was opening for Dave Matthews Band at the Gorge and they all put cigarettes up your nose and took pictures … (thanks, guys)

So, it’s College Football Saturday, I got to sleep in a bit, I started my day right with coffee, a green monster and a blog post, and upon waking I was greeted with a picture of a red panda from BF (he knows me too well). Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone! Please be safe, and have fun!

Currently loving: Pretty much everything, darnit 🙂 But specifically, today’s weather in Seattle (who knew I’d ever welcome overcast and cool), Coheed & Cambria, my brother running his first 5K this morning!!

 

Letter writing June 25, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 1:26 pm
Tags: , , , ,

In case you haven’t noticed in the 135 posts preceding this one, I’m kind of a “do stuff” person. I’m not the type to just sit around bitching about something that makes me unhappy.

That’s not to say I don’t do my fair share of bitching, but when it comes down to it, I feel much better having done something … getting involved in some sort of (hopefully) positive change.

I am also kind of an extremist in this category of people. Yes, yes … I am a letter-writer.

As a communications professional (seriously, the job description is “relations with the public,” people), I realize that there are a myriad of ways to get in touch with people and companies. But, also as a communications professional, I firmly believe that few are as effective as a rational, well-thought-out letter.

Of course, it’s way easier to shoot off an email, a Tweet or pick up the phone … but that’s why I like letter writing. Now that there’s a variety of arguably less labor-intensive ways to contact companies, there’s less competition for your letter in the mail bin. And this may be my naiveté showing through, but I firmly believe that someone reads all those letters. It may not be the CEO or even his assistant, but somewhere, someone is reading the letters. And if I am able to calmly and articulately present a rational argument, as well as my desired outcome … I like to think that that someone will pay attention to my letter, and even pass it on to someone who has some decisionmaking power.

I’ve written letters for a variety of reasons. Some have elicited responses, others have not. But you know what? I usually feel better regardless, having stated my case and given the company (or individual) in question a chance to respond. If they respond (even if I don’t get my way)? Kudos to them for acknowledging me.

If they didn’t respond? As a communications professional, screw you. Depending on the severity of the issue and the tenor of the complaint, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to make a customer feel important. And in an age where it’s easier than ever for people to express themselves … don’t you want to make sure that every customer is singing your praises instead of cursing you to the high heavens (*cough cough* Carnival is a terrible cruise line)?

Here’s just a sample of the reasons I’ve written letters over the years:

  • Carnival Cruises’ mangled mishandling of a casino dispute between their casino manager and BF (no response, this was probably the worst experience because it was a customer service issue)
  • Dan Fouts being an all-around terrible college football commentator and hijacking the conversation any chance he got to talk about when he played for the Oregon Ducks (no response, but Fouts was MIA the season after I wrote this letter. I will continue to take credit for this)
  • Subway employee from Gillette, Wyoming holding my wallet after I left it there and drove to South Dakota … and then sending it to Florida on her own dime with all $450+ and credit cards still intact. I wrote a letter both to Subway corporate and the individual franchise (no response back, but I hope she got something. Talk about good karma on her)
  • At the tender age of 12, I wanted to work for Nintendo, so I wrote a letter to the CEO of the company at the time, including a writing sample and a resume (the head of their HR department wrote me a letter back, telling me that my work was fantastic, but unfortunately due to labor laws they couldn’t hire me until I turned 16. I know he was probably just being nice, but this story still makes me happy. I still have the letter)

So, as you can see, I’m not exaggerating when I say that I am one of “those people” … a letter writer. And clearly I started from a young age.

But you know what? I get shit done 🙂

Currently loving: It’s Friday!, Yoga Download‘s “Hip Opening Flow” (got back into Yoga last night yeaaaaaahhhhh), wearing a fun sundress to work today

image from David Spender

 

Just a normal night at the casa de D May 26, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 2:16 am
Tags: , ,

Why yes, that is a fort made out of our couches and some bedsheets. I can claim the design, but BF actually put it together. And yes, we have been shamelessly sitting in there for the last 3 hours, watching TV.

And yes, it is a Tuesday night. And we’re sober. Why do you ask?