Lexd's Blog

I write about what I want!

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!!

 

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COMMENCE: The best time of the year November 16, 2010

Filed under: food — lexd @ 7:00 pm
Tags: , , ,

Guys? Guys? Guys? Guys? Guys? Guys? GUESS WHAT?

Thanksgiving is in T-minus NINE DAYS. There is no emoticon that can express the size of my smile right now.

Ok, just for the heck of it: ๐Ÿ˜€

I know I wrote about it last year, but I have to do it again. People, this is my favorite holiday of the entire year. More than Christmas, more than my birthday (especially now that I’ve passed 25). Why? Because a D family Thanksgiving looks like this:

Cooking + eating + beer + football

Have you ever seen a more perfect equation?

As is our tradition, we’re going to shake up at least one of the recipes we always have. (TBH, I don’t know why we do this. Everything usually turns out SO delicious … we just can’t stop trying new stuff, I guess. Some people skydive. My dad and I shake up Thanksgiving recipes. It’s that kind of rush.) I’ve already done the unthinkable and decided on a new green bean casserole recipe, to get that french onion/mushroom soup monstrosity off of our table. Of course, the recipe I chose isn’t too risky … it’s Pioneer Woman’s green bean casserole recipe. I tell you, that woman does with food what Michaelangelo did with marble. To be honest, I am trying to resist copying her entire meal. Kind of kills the fun of recipe-hunting.

We really liked the stuffing recipes we did last year … gluten-free swiss chard stuffing (although I’ll be sure NOT to get any red chard this year. Pink stuffing never looks yummy, unfortunately), and a gluten-free cornbread and sausage stuffing. Over the next 9 days, I think I am going to try and turn my gravy recipe gluten-free … we’ll see what I can make work. It’s SUCH a good recipe, though. Thank you, Sunset magazine.

As far as everything else goes, it’s still up in the air. We generally have garlic mashed potatoes, crescent rolls, this jell-o ring my mom makes every year (I think that might be the one recipe out of my reach, though), sweet potatoes/yams, and cranberry sauce.

As I mentioned above, I am currently recipe-hunting. And, I am feeling sort of overwhelmed. I’ve developed quite the arsenal of food blogs over the last year, and THEY ARE ALL DOING A THANKSGIVING SERIES.

One thing I do want to accomplish this year, however, is to have some more vegetables that aren’t slathered in mini marshmallows, butter, or cream sauce. I know, blasphemy on the most gluttonous holiday of the year. But I’ve been doing a really excellent job incorporating more fruits and vegetables in my diet, and I’m going to be hurting next Friday if I don’t try and keep that up. We’ll see what I can slip by the family. Maybe something from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan?

Also … I want to tell you a secret before I sign off. (I am a huge nerd, I just did shifty eyes after typing that … and there is nobody here but me.) I think I am going to try and replace at least half of the mashed potatoes on our table with …

CAULIFLOWER.

Bear with me, and check out this recipe from Cheap, Healthy, Good. I’m going to lobby to replace the potatoes entirely, but I have it on good authority that you can mix potatoes and cauliflower without sacrificing taste … but saving serious calories. Or, maybe that broccoli/potato/red pepper mash I’ve made a few times?

Now you see the pickle I get myself into the week before Thanksgiving. And this is BEFORE I realize I haven’t even started thinking about Christmas yet.

Currently loving: Pumpkin yogurt, my new running shoes (Mizuno Wave Rider 11s) … they let me run without shin pain!, HARRY POTTER MOVIE RELEASE THIS WEEK

delicious picture by scubadive67

 

Where do you fall? October 7, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 5:51 pm
Tags: , ,

Ok, so I’ve been wanting to blog about this for a couple months now — since I returned home, really. I think I’ve hesitated because it’s a pretty personal topic.

See, growing up, I always thought I was more like my dad. I’m not sure if this was my actual perception, or if I was just really irritated by stuff my mom did, and therefore thought I was more like my dad. My mom has always been kind of forgetful and super anal. It seemed like she was always “fussing” around, cleaning stuff up and handing out to-do lists. You can imagine how much this irritated me as a teenager.

I pretty much kept this perspective until about a month ago. I moved back into my parents’ home. I integrated myself into the daily routine that existed here, and discovered something:

My mother and I are almost exactly alike.

In the three years that I’ve maintained my own home — as well as the years I lived away from my parents in college — I developed many of the exact same habits as my mom.

We both talk to ourselves when we do stuff (out loud, shamelessly). We both pick up and clean compulsively — especially the kitchen. We don’t ask for help very often. When we do ask for help and don’t get an immediate response, we do it ourselves. We tend to bottle up anger — and it’s easy to tell when we’re doing so. We tend to snap, blow up, and then require a cool-down period. We like routines — especially in the morning. We tend to take care of the people in our household (excessively so). We both tend to forget things unless we write them down.

Hell, we even both have loud sneezes and say “What?” the same way when asking someone to repeat something. My sister routinely tells me that I’ve “pulled a mom.”

At first, to be completely honest, I was shocked (and kind of upset). But as I thought about it more — and watched my mom — I realized I’m not actually upset. That was more a knee-jerk reaction to the way I’ve always seen my mom’s habits (read: annoying).

In fact, I actually understand where she’s coming from, and I can better appreciate what she does — because I do it myself. Seeing my mom do these things (after almost certainly doing them for at least the 30 years she’s run her own home) gave me some perspective. For example, I now understand why my mom has “to do” lists for everyone — because (intentionally or unintentionally) people take advantage of her willingness to just do everything herself, and to-do lists are her way of nipping this in the bud.

Having realized this, I’m not sure where to go from here. For instance, I see that her compulsion to clean can make her unhappy, because she feels like she is constantly running around after the four of us and the dog, cleaning up to maintain the house. I have felt this way, too (and I only lived with one other person!). But that doesn’t change the drive to do it. And once she (and I) have seen that something is dirty or out of place, we cannot forget about it until it’s addressed.

At this point, I’m torn. I understand why she’s doing it, because I do it myself. BUT I CAN SEE THAT IT MAKES HER UNHAPPY. And I know it makes me unhappy when I do it. What do I do? I guess it’s kind of like getting to see into the future a little bit. What is the best way to handle this? CAN I manage this?

I guess this was where the title of this post came from — they say the apple doesn’t fall from the tree. And, they also say that the things that irritate you most in others are actually the things that irritate you most about yourself. In this case, both items ring true. So … where do YOU fall? Are you surprised at all?

Currently loving: The idea of a Florida visit in early December (^_^), Mad Men on demand, the beautiful fall Seattle weather

seriously cute image from Jake Spurlock

 

Whirlwind September 23, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 11:09 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Many apologies for the lack in posting. It’s certainly not for lack of things to write about. In fact, things have been CRAZY.

Instead of writing some 1,000+ word post that nobody will get all the way through, I figured I’d just kind of do a bulleted list. I’m in PR and social media, see … bullets are our lifeblood.

Anyway:

  • Working from home is not the party people make it out to be. (Well, people who don’t work from home seem to think working from home is awesome.) It is really hard to do full-time, both because of distractions, and the temptation to work ALL THE TIME. As with anything, you need a freaking break every once in a while.
  • Behold: If you live solely on credit for a month, your credit card bills will reflect that. I don’t know how this one got past me, but I choked when I looked at my credit card bill this month. And then promptly created a payment plan for myself.
  • Live music is awesome, whether it’s in a coffee house, at a festival, or at a concert. I experienced all three in the last two weeks. I also forgot how many bands there are in the Seattle area … and how many of them are good. Les Marseilles (sp), for instance.
  • I am repeatedly disappointed with the Redhook Brewery in Woodinville. The last couple times I’ve been there, the food has been subpar, and the service was terrible. Honestly, their beer isn’t good enough for me to put up with that. This did not change at last weekend’s SausageFest event (Yes, “sausagefest”). They had ONE beer tent, and the event was held at the brewery. Are they serious? Poor planning. 6,000 people, 1 tent.
  • At said festival, I definitely tried a beer called “Meat Hook.” It was a bacon-infused ale. First taste: Pleasantly smoky. Aftertaste: “I just ate bacon and now I have reflux” taste in my mouth. Would not drink again. So, I retaliated by eating a bacon-wrapped meatball instead.
  • My 360’s hard drive is having problems. While this has freed up a considerable amount of time, it is also SO frustrating. I just hooked it up again, dammit!
  • I am officially making a goal of running in the Seattle Rock n’ Roll Marathon next summer. I did the maths, and I have time to do the couch to 5K plan (I’m in week 4 right now), the couch to 10K plan, and then a half marathon plan before then, with a couple weeks of breaks/fun runs.
  • That being said, my shin splints are just getting worse and worse. It hurts so badly to run some days (like today). I’m rocking the post-workout stretching and icing to try and help it, and as I start to run longer (and further) I’ll probably have my sister tape them to see if that helps.
  • I discovered today that hanging out on the elliptical for about 15 minutes after a run does a pretty good job stretching my shins and calves out. I’ll try that, too.
  • I got hired at a local restaurant/bar last night to pick up a few shifts a week. I worked a “follow” shift last night, and even though I was on my feet for 6 hours straight, I had SO MUCH FUN. I forgot how much I enjoy serving.
  • It’s a tequila bar, so I have a lot to learn.
  • My dog is the best coworker ever. He may not answer phone calls or help me proof my work, but when I am freaking out about something stupid, he gives me a “shut up already” look. When I’m legitimately upset, stressed and freaking out, he knows that it helps if he comes over to cuddle. Also, he’s always hungry, so he reminds me to eat. I just wish he wasn’t so gassy all the time. He can’t help it, he’s just getting old.
  • LDRs still suck. Looks like early 2011 before BF will be up here. It’s a hard balance to strike. We are saving so much money and paying off so much of our debt in our current arrangement. I guess it’s just sort of a “how long can we put up with this” situation. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
  • Rehabbing my shoulder is not going well. I’m pretty much constantly in pain when doing upper body workouts, so it’s been a challenge to keep motivated. Stupid scar tissue.
  • I put this up on Facebook … and I know a lot of people say this … but I really have the absolute best group of friends a girl could wish for. From my best friend of 18 years to people I met in college (and those in FL of course), no matter who I hang out with or what we do, I usually end up relaxing, laughing until I cry, and having so much fun. I love them so much. This was a huge reason I moved back to Seattle, and it’s proving to be 100% worth it.

I guess that’s all for now. Back to a semi-regular posting schedule ๐Ÿ˜€

Currently Loving: C20 coconut water (best I’ve found so far), The Vampire Diaries (I’m so sorry, I got hooked and couldn’t help it), rainy weather (there’s something that is just so comforting about the soft patter of Seattle rain), hearing the high school baseball games through the open window as I lay in bed tonight (the park is across the street from our house), surprise “I love you” text messages from BF ๐Ÿ™‚

image from the Seattle P-I

 

It’s a Big Day … September 4, 2010

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

COLLEGE FOOTBALL SATURDAY!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!!

 

Working at Home September 3, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 4:57 am
Tags: , , , ,

I’ll be honest, I’ve never done this before. The only places I’ve ever worked have actually been AT an office or restaurant.ย Truth be told, it was awkward at first, especially because I hadn’t worked even close to full time for two weeks. I was newly home with my brother (who somehow turned into a young man), my sister (who I’ve seen very little of for the past three years), and my parents … and my dog, of course. I just wanted to hang out with everyone. I hadn’t seen them for more than four days in a row in three years.

So, I started out in the kitchen. I set up my laptop, got my little inbox situated, grabbed my yellow legal pad and went to town.

Well, from 6 a.m. until about 10, that is. Then everyone would make their way downstairs and I was inevitably stopping my timer on Freshbooks every 15 minutes or so. Clearly, that didn’t work. Plus, my mom was pissed about all my stuff being on the table. (Oh, living at home.)

So, I relocated to the dining room, which is just off the front area of our house. There’s a pocket door that separates the busy kitchen/living room area from where I am (although that didn’t keep my dog from creepily watching me while I was on the phone today), so it’s pretty quiet. I get awesome natural light from the window behind me. And, as a bonus, I feel like a badass sitting in these cherry-wood chairs at this nice table.

(LOL as I’m writing this, my mom walked downstairs and past the dining room, and said, “look at you, you are awesome!” I didn’t tell her I was blogging instead of working … I just kind of basked)

So, I finally have the “office” situation sorted out for now … I’m still trying to come up with a daily schedule that I can stick to, both for my boss (so she knows when she can get a hold of me reliably), and for me (because I am a routine person).

As it stands now:

6:00 a.m. — Alarm goes off. Roll over, grab iPhone and check emails

6:15-6:30 a.m. — Head downstairs. Secure coffee, make green monster. Drink both while reading the Seattle Times.

7:00 a.m. — It’s business time. (Not that kind of business time, but I couldn’t help myself.) Grab a huge waterbottle of water and head to the “office.” Create a realistic to-do list for the day.

10:30 a.m. — Grab a snack (usually fruit and a little protein), refill water. The potential for making a cup of tea is usually high here. My toes are still cold at this time.

12:30-1 p.m. — Forage through the fridge for some kind of lunch.

3 p.m. — This is where it gets tricky. Usually my dad gets home about now, and he, my sister and I head to the gym for an hour to an hour and a half. The problem is that I’ve been cooking dinner most nights, and getting home after 4:30 just does not give me ample time to get dinner on the table by 5:30 (which is my goal). I am just a slow cook, is all. But, I rely heavily on my sister to kick my ass at the gym. I cannot go without her.

4:30-5 p.m. — Get home, commence the scramble to get dinner on the table for the family.

Anywhere between 6 and 7 (your guess is as good as mine) — Dinner is served.

8 p.m. — Sit in front of the TV, crammed on the 2-man couch with my sister and my dad. Laptop in lap. Mom lounges in the recliner and Brother_D is on the floor with the dog (he is 15, he doesn’t care).

10 p.m. — Retire to bed (after taking pristine care of my teeth, I do not have dental insurance right now), and read. I just finished The Stand for the second time the other night, and am embarking on Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea right now. Next up is The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, courtesy of my friend (who knows me so well).

Pathetically, between 10:30-11 p.m. — Fall 90% asleep, remember I forgot to turn on my alarm, set it up, and then PASS OUT.

I haven’t slept this well this regularly in months, and it feels good. My mom is starting to go back to the gym (with my sister’s help) — she had a stress fracture in her hip and a knee injury, so she’s taking it slow. She’s a morning worker-outer, so I’m considering going to the gym with them at 9:30 or so, hitting up a Yoga class while they do their thing, and then going back to the gym in the afternoon for weights and cardio with Sis_D. We’ll see how this plays out.

Currently loving: This faux-tuna saladย recipe (it uses chickpeas! How exciting), that my sister’s workout plan for me includes a mandatory 6-oz serving of red wine EACH DAY (woot), and my dog. Yes, that’s him in the photo above, cuddling with his squeaky Booda toy last night. As Rachel Zoe would say, I die. โค

 

The first day is always the hardest August 30, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 5:43 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

In case you didn’t notice, I’ve been MIA for a little over a week. BF got into town on the 21st, and since then everything’s been an absolute whirlwind. I haven’t done that much in a week … ever, I think:

  • Ate our way through Seattle’s Pike Place Market (including Piroshky Piroshky, YUMM)
  • Tasted at/toured three different breweries
  • Drove across the state of Washington twice
  • BF got to go to his brother’s bachelor party up at Priest Lake (“it was like ‘The Hangover’ … in the woods”)
  • Went bowling
  • Did yardwork
  • Set up for a wedding
  • Cooked for a wedding
  • Attended two weddings in two days (congrats to Brett & Cori and Simon & Merissa!)
  • Sang karaoke

To be quite honest, it was pretty much a week-long bender, and I could hardly stand up last night, I was so tired. Took BF to the airport this morning for what I’m fervently praying is the last time for a long-time separation. I am quickly remembering why I promised myself that we’d never do this again after I moved to Florida. Lots of tears last night, and all morning.

I thought I was okay by the time I got home from SeaTac, but Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes’ “Home” started to play when I was turning on my street (BF had never heard the song before, and we quickly dubbed it the theme song for the trip, as the lyrics are oddly appropriate: “home is wherever I’m with you”) and I just lost it again.

Unfortunately, we are breaking one of the cardinal rules of long-distance relationships and we don’t have a date set for when we’ll see each other again (this makes it easier, so you have something to count down to). Might have to figure that out. Other coping strategies besides my obscene to-do list, working out, and chocolate? Ideas? Anyone? Bueller?

Anyway, I have a work-related phone call in 2 minutes, so I need to quit sniffling and get my life together.

Currently loving: MGMT in general, nice weather in Seattle today, starting the workout plan my sister developed for me!

image from cliff1066 (BF took the camera back with him to Orlando)