Lexd's Blog

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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.
 

Another axe to grind December 2, 2010

Filed under: rant — lexd @ 12:06 am
Tags: , , ,

I don’t want to go on a rant here … but I’m getting a little tired of the “wow, 1″ of snow, shut down Seattle!” jokes. Seriously, $%*# off. That’s great that you grew up in upstate New York and nothing short of two feet of snow even delayed school, but that’s not how things work around here.

While a lot of our drivers are indeed fundamentally retarded in anything more than rain, our inability to function as a city (and a county, really) when it snows is due to a few major things:

  • Topography. Seattle is a stick shift-driver’s worst nightmare, even in prime conditions. Hills inside the city limits go up to an elevation of 500+ feet, and down to sea level. Some hills have up to 21% slope. And, these aren’t just arterials. Queen Anne Ave, for example, is a pretty heavily-trafficked area, and has an 18% slope. If you think I’m crazy, just follow the link on the header for some official numbers from the Seattle DOT.
  • Anti-snow supplies. On average, it doesn’t snow more than a few days a year in Seattle and the surrounding areas. That being said, it would be kind of silly to invest in and maintain a bunch of snowplows, salt, sand and de-icer, wouldn’t it? This is particularly true in a city that is considering implementing a toll between $3.50-5/trip to pay for repairs on a bridge that has needed it for years. The money isn’t there, folks, and if a politician suggested spending money on snow equipment, he/she would be flayed alive. So, the ENTIRE City of Seattle currently has 30 trucks that can be fitted with rubber-edged snowplows, 2 honest-to-goodness snowplows, and 4 de-icer trucks. That is 36 vehicles for a city with 617,000 residents (in Seattle proper … 3.4 million in Seattle Metro), that spans 143 square miles, with 1,531 miles of streets deemed “major arterials.”  So, for every 17,139 Seattleites (CITY Seattleites, not METRO Seattleites who may commute in) and 43 miles of major arterial road, there is one truck. To top it off, our rubber-tipped snowplows will clear snow, but not ice (which, as you’ll see, is the real problem).
  • Weather. The Pacific Northwest — and particularly Seattle — serves as a “landing pad” for big weather systems moving through the Pacific Ocean. We’re also surrounded by two mountain ranges, which tends to add a level of unpredictability. In a 2008 Seattle P-I article, UW atmospheric scientist Cliff Mass said the following:

The so-called “Puget Sound convergence zone” is a moving target that describes a weather reunion — when an onshore weather system that gets split by the Olympics meets again somewhere over the greater Seattle metropolitan area. And what kind of weather you get is, of course, determined to a large extent by where you live — how close to the water, elevation and the like.

And, if you check out the average temperatures in Seattle’s winter history, you’ll see that they usually dance around 32 degrees F … freezing. This normally wouldn’t be a problem until it gets cold enough to snow … then it warms back up during mid-day or early afternoon (partially melting said snow), and then drops again in the evening (freezing said melted snow into sheets of ice). THIS is where things go awry … and leads me to my next point:

  • Drivers.

Ninja Edit: I’ll be honest, I got to this point, logged on to Reddit randomly, and found this post: “In defense of Seattle drivers.” It achieves everything I was trying to do in this post, and he’s got way more cred than me because he’s from ALASKA.

So, anyway, /endrant. Lots of fun stuff to blog about, and per usual, it’s just banging around in my head, waiting for an outlet. If I can pry myself away from my umpteenth playthrough of Earthbound, I may just do it tonight 😀

Currently Loving: Hugo’s cover of Jay-Z’s “99 Problems,” puffy vests (preferrably with hoods … this sort of looks like the one I’m wearing today), the Victoria’s Secret fashion show (not only was Gerard Butler there, but the girls all genuinely looked like they were having so much fun)

this incredible image brought to you by ShedBOy^

 

Vanity Plates May 20, 2010

Filed under: other,rant — lexd @ 8:26 pm
Tags: , , , ,

You know, I had a disclaimer written to start off this post to try and avoid offending people. But you know what? I don’t care. I think vanity license plates are just plain stupid. I think they are showoffy in most cases, or for shock value … and I dislike attention whores. Or, if your plate is actually a funny joke … that’s great, but who are you going to explain it to? You can’t exactly yell over traffic and inform the people around you. If nobody gets it, IT IS A BAD JOKE.

If you do it just to stump people, I hate you too. Because I end up thinking about it for an inordinate amount of time, and then getting frustrated and sticking your plate with the dumbest justification I can think of.

Some examples of this may include:

If you are wondering where this rant comes from (I know I get random, but this is pretty out there), there’s a legitimate reason. See, someone came in for a second interview today at my office.

Before I go any further, I should explain that my office is free-standing, and nobody parks in our parking lot but employees. We all know each other’s cars, and if there’s one that doesn’t belong … we notice.

So, said individual comes in for a second interview (so they are familiar with the parking lot situation) … in a car with a vanity plate reading “DGYSTYL.” Better, it is parked right in front of our front doors.

I have no idea if my bosses are going to call the person back or what (and they totally know about it), but from my POV that’s a pretty piss-poor move. It’s not work-performance related, but I think it speaks to your personality; it says you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about how others perceive you.It’s one of those things like your email (please tell me you don’t put emails like “blondiesurfergyrl194784” on a resume), or how you treat a receptionist when you go somewhere to interview.

Who expects to be taken seriously when the only personalization you have on your vehicle says “doggy style”?

I realize there are a number of excuses this individual could make. Maybe he/she used to be a pet groomer. Perhaps it was funny when they got their car in high school, but they never bothered to change the plate. Maybe it’s a friend’s car.

But I don’t think any of these hold water. Seriously, we live in Florida. You don’t have a front license plate on your car. If you were thinking about it at all, wouldn’t you back your car in? JUST SAYIN’.

Currently loving: Starbucks soy coffee frappucinos (I never knew you could get soy milk in those), Under the Dome on audio book by Stephen King, that dinner will be made when I get home (<3 crockpot)

“satan” image from uberculture

“urme imu” image from pheezy

“mai m3” image from mai le

 

Take that, anxiety! February 4, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 5:53 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve been told it’s no secret to anyone that BF and I are on the brink of making some major decisions about the next phase of our lives (the “no secret” part is why I’m comfortable talking about it here).

At this point, all we know is that come March 31, we are moving out of our current apartment building, most likely into an apartment closer to the area where both of us work in the Orlando area.

Moving is a pain in the ass. Chris Illuminati does the best job at explaining why here. I know this. We have way more &$*@ than we did when we both moved to Florida (seriously, if it didn’t fit in our cars, it didn’t come with us). The end of March is going to suck royally. I need to make a friend who has a truck, FAST.

I am proud to say that I am taking this decision in stride. Moving sucks, but I’m prepared to deal with it when the time comes.

On my way to the gym last night, I was struck by the fact that if we moved closer to work, we’d be moving away from the gym I’ve been going to. I plan to ask if we can just transfer our membership to another gym in the same chain (anyone ever done this?), but for some reason I was still upset by the idea.

Like, seriously upset. I guess the idea of having to transfer gyms was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me regarding moving, because I pretty much freaked out in the car. I thought I was going to cry, and my stomach started to do whatever it does that gives me the usual awesome stabbing pain.

It got to the point where I was considering going home and hammering out some research to make myself feel better. Or cleaning something. Or baking those granola cookies I’ve been meaning to make since Saturday.

These signs: Need for answers, stomach pain, desire to scrub and bake … these are the harbingers of a Lex-pocalypse. I was on the fast-track to really losing my cool (at 80 mph).

Instead of doing any of the above, I plugged in my iPod and started up my “ANGRY” playlist that I maintain for times such as these. And, as the bass made my mirrors shake (love you, BOSE speakers), I decided to go to the gym anyway.

I always read that exercising was a good way to combat anxiety and depression. I believe the depression thing, for sure. I was briefly on Lexapro, and I think the last 4 months of regularly working out helped more than those stupid pills. Until last night, I had yet to be convinced about quelling anxiety.

What I’d never realized was that the treadmill or the elliptical, or a stationary bike, are awful ideas when I’m anxious. I’m not the kind of person whose mind is cleared by running. It’s just 30-60 minutes of time I have to stew and worry.

What made last night’s routine so anti-anxiety was that I was actively thinking about working out the entire time. I did 2 advanced Winter Shape Up circuits just prior to a 60-minute Zumba class. When you’re busting your ass going from exercise to exercise, or trying to make your legs (and butt and abs and arms, for that matter) do what your Zumba instructor’s are doing … you’re not thinking about anything else. For a full 90 minutes last night, I didn’t think about moving. And when it was done? I was too tired to even go back to it.

Success.

Any other anti-anxiety tips? I’m always up for new ideas.

moving image from atom’s photostream

Zumba pic from cimm’s photostream

 

Things I Wish I’d Created: Audiobooks December 14, 2009

Filed under: other — lexd @ 6:16 pm
Tags: , ,

My name is Lex_D, and I am an audiobook addict.

While I’ve listened to a handful of audiobooks in the past (mostly when I drove from Seattle to Orlando with BF), in the last four months they’ve been integral to my daily routine.

I didn’t realize how true this was, until this morning, when I finished Juliet, Naked (next month’s book club book), and decided I’d have to go to the library at lunch to pick up a new book to start on my commute home.

And, this is important (because I say I’m going to do things all the time, and never do them): I actually did it.

You should know that I am a dedicated “book in hand” reader (get your fancy-schmancy Kindle out of here), and a very visual learner. I wrote off audiobooks when I first heard about them. Even as an addict, there’s still nothing like reading a well-loved paperback in a coffeehouse, on the beach, or even just curled up in my living room. And yes, I like the musty smell of libraries and books.

But this sort of free time is becoming scarce in my life. On weekends it’s nice, but for me, it’s hard to put a book down for five days and then get 100% back into it.

A friend of mine from book club has a commute that’s similar to mine (in time spent in traffic, at least), and she encouraged me to try out an audiobook to see if I liked it. The clincher actually had nothing to do with books … she said it lowered her road rage. Given my high blood pressure reading at my last doctor visit, I was sold.

As it would happen (and this is how I know I was meant to get into audiobooks), I was perusing iTunes in mid-October, and just in time for Halloween, Carrie by Stephen King was the audiobook of the month, on sale for $9. I’ve been wanting to read Carrie, I am a huge Stephen King fan and the audiobook was actually performed by Sissy Spacek (who was the original Carrie), so I figured it would be a good trial book.

After one full day of commuting, I was hooked.

Since then, I’ve listened to/read (what is the correct terminology?) Carrie; Eat Pray Love; Juliet, Naked; and today I picked up Duma Key by Stephen King.

My friend was right, it does lessen road rage. And sometimes I catch myself sitting in my car in the parking lot at the gym, at home or at work, seeing if I can finish a chapter. Nerdy, I know.

While there’s no substitute for devouring the words with my own eyes, audiobooks are pretty damn fun.

In addition to the ones I’ve listened to since October, I’ve also listened to Freakanomics and Angels and Demons.

I am totally open to recommendations. Duma Key is 18 discs and by far my most ambitious book so far, but

a) it’s Stephen King

and

b) it’s read by John Slattery (Roger Sterling from Mad Men, he has a great voice)

so I think I’m going to stick with it.

kid reading book image by KOMU News’ Flickr

 

Driving douchebaggery May 4, 2009

Filed under: other,rant — lexd @ 3:22 pm
Tags: ,

I know, it’s been forever since I blogged. Truth be told, I’ve been writing a lot at work, and by the time I set aside some time for blogging, I’m damn-near out of words. 

That being said, there’s a lot I have to write about, including recent gaming sessions (Devil May Cry 4, Rayman 2, Rock Band and Guitar Hero); the ridiculous way the entire world is reacting to the swine flu (and the gross mishandling of it by the media); some family stuff; books I’m reading; and why I could read The Undomestic Goddess  cover to cover (as I did Saturday) every day and never get sick of it. 

I have some new pet peeves that I’ve discovered, but I’ve come to the conclusion that my abundance of driving pet peeves (which these new ones are) might make me look like I think I am the perfect driver … which, I assure you, I am not. I drive WAY too fast (even for Florida’s standards), I am unnecessarily aggressive (read: intentionally boxing people out when they try to pass me on the right), I have what could be considered clinical road rage, I don’t always signal, and on and on.

I think what irrates me most, though, is driving douchebaggery: People taking an action they know will inconvenience other drivers, and not giving a rat’s ass about it. 

“But wait,” you say. “You just admitted to a) not signaling and b) purposefully preventing people from passing you, you hypocrite!” 

In response, I always signal in traffic (when it’s important for other drivers to know what I’m doing), and my tendency to block other drivers from passing me on the right only happens in traffic — and, it’s reactive to their passing-on-the-right douchebaggery. In 99% of cases where there is no traffic and I see someone coming up fast, I will move to the right. If there’s traffic? Screw you, I’m not getting stuck in the right lane so you can be 6 ft. closer to your goal. 

So, the newest in pet peevitude:

  • When someone pulls out in front of me and cuts me off … and there is NOBODY BEHIND ME. This happens so often in Florida, I’m surprised I haven’t had an aneyurism yet. If there’s heavy traffic, and there appears to be a break in front of my car, I’ll be annoyed, but I understand. Nobody wants to wait, trying to turn out of Publix, for 20 minutes after a long day at work. BUT, if I am the only car on the road, God help you. You SERIOUSLY couldn’t wait 10 seconds? I’m speeding, I promise it won’t take that long for me to pass!
  • When someone cuts you off in traffic and then slows down. I saw a girl flip her car into the median a few months back because some stupid driver in a tiny black sportscar did this. The roof of her car was crushed. I was terrified, and called 911. I hate people who do this. 
  • When people drive below the speed limit in the right lane a mile or more before their exit. I see this all the bloody time on I-4 and the 417. Your exit is coming up, but you are still on the freeway, and the speed limit is still 65. Please do not slow down until you are actually in an exit lane, or on the off-ramp. You jam everyone up, including the people entering the freeway in said right lane. It’s awful hard to merge into traffic at 40 mph. 
  • Also, people who enter the freeway at 40 mph. Flow of traffic in Florida is generally at least the speed limit, if not 10-15 mph over. If you are one of the people who insists that this is not a problem, please spend some time with this traffic simulator, and marvel at how you are screwing with the flow of traffic without even knowing it. 

 

Moar Pet Peeves April 21, 2009

Filed under: other,rant — lexd @ 6:21 pm
Tags: , ,

Yes, more pet peeves to add to the list:

  • When people create videos/vlogs/anything visual, and they start it with themselves doing something, pretending not to see the camera. Then, they look up, startled, and say something like, “Oh, hello! I didn’t see you there!” THIS IS THE MOST UNORIGINAL OPENING OF ALL TIME
  • When people misspell “quiet” as “quite.” I never know if it’s intentional, like, do they know the difference between the words? This is not a homonym, these are two different WORDS. For some reason, this typo really grinds my gears more than others. 

  • When people use dictionary definitions to a) start a paper or blog post or email or whatever … or, to try and prove a point. I can read, I know how to use a dictionary, and for the most part, I do not engage on a topic unless I’m pretty sure what everything means. You are boring when you revert to someone else’s words to explain something. 
  • You know when a song is playing, and then (usually in movies), it slows down like whatever playing the music is breaking? For whatever reason, that noise is terrifying to me. I think it’s the after-effects of playing BioShock. And yes, it’s a pet peeve that this freaks me out.
  • Micro-managing. Do not do it to me, or you will incur my wrath. I really do like to help others, so if you ask me to do something, odds are I’ll drop whatever I’m doing to help you. Standing over my desk or paging/emailing me every 5 minutes is not going to expedite this process. Luckily, this doesn’t happen often at all at work right now (seriously, I’m pretty lucky). 
  • Discovered this the other day: People who will not pick a speed while driving make me crazy. Please, please please please just pick a speed. Please. 
  • This one is pretty specific, but I hate it when non-kitchen things are left in the kitchen. BF will drop off wallet, keys, mail, tie etc on the counter next to where I’m making dinner, get mad if I try to move them, and then get pissed when he realizes they are now dirty/oil spattered/salted/whatever. Dude, it’s the kitchen. There’s serious work commencing. 

That’s all for now, I suppose. FOR NOW.