Lexd's Blog

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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

 

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!!

 

 

Being Memorable April 5, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 3:33 pm
Tags: , ,

This weekend, as I was sweeping the floor at Pet Rescue by Judy’s adoption center, I began an odd train of thought (sweeping is a pretty mindless activity, see).

Back in elementary school, when I was playing softball, there was a rule that you had to clean up any fields that you played on. When we got to a field one day, we discovered that whoever had been there before us had taken it upon themselves to chew what looked to be 3 huge bags of sunflower seeds and spit them all over the dugout. To avoid being held accountable for their mess, we were tasked with cleaning it up.

Someone secured a broom and brought it to us, and we managed to argue about WHO was going to do the actual sweeping (as in, we all WANTED to do it. Kids are weird.) A few of us had better reasons than others as to why we should get to sweep. I had just helped my dad clean the garage a couple weekends prior, so that was mine. Another girl I played with said, “my uncle is a janitor, so I know how to do this really well.”

I have no idea if she was lying or what, but we kind of let her have it at that point. From what I remember, I didn’t want to press the issue. Would she be embarrassed if I did? Would it be worse to be caught lying about something like that, or admit to the fact that yes, her uncle was a janitor?

(Clearly, even at the tender age of 10 or 11 I was overanalyzing these things. I was born to blog, I guess.)

I bring this up because I think about this incident every time I have to sweep more than a 4’x4′ area. Literally, every time.

I am now friends with this girl on Facebook, but I still don’t know much about her life. As a result, this experience is really one of the only things I remember about her. I’m sure that if she knew that, she’d either laugh at me, or be kind of offended.

At this point, I got to thinking: If that’s the only thing I remember about her, what does she remember about me? Does she remember me? (Clearly she does, she sought me out on Facebook). In fact, what does ANYONE remember about me?

I’d like to think that people remember me as a thoughtful, intelligent and capable individual, who works hard and has a sense of humor. I know this is unrealistic, because I’ve done some stupid stuff, and I’m sure I’m remembered for those actions in some circles. I bet a lot of people I went to high school with remember me as being kind of mean and snotty. (Not ideal.)

I’m not advocating being preoccupied with how others perceive you. You can’t control what people think. However, I think it is healthy to be cognizant of the fact that your actions do leave impressions on others. I’m just curious as to what actions/words/attitudes people remember about me.

What do you think people remember about you?

image from jpctalbot

 

Sleep: How much is too much? February 16, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 9:54 pm
Tags: , ,

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I LOVE SLEEP. I’ve always been a sleeper. It’s rare that I actually have trouble falling asleep … even in inconvenient locations like airplanes.

I was a night owl in high school (and again in college, but that had more to do with drinking too much, eating like shit and never working out), but over the last few years, my body’s gotten into more of a early-bird rhythm. And by “early-bird” I don’t mean I go to bed at 10 and get up at some absurd time like 5 a.m. I mean I go to bed by 11 at the latest and get up by 7. I cannot get up earlier than 7 for anything less than an emergency or a work function. It doesn’t happen.

If you do the math, that puts me between 8 and 9 hours of sleep a night.

According to some people (*coughcough* BF), that’s too much sleep. I did not know such a thing existed. Apparently, he might be right.

I know this isn’t a super-recent article or anything, but this isn’t the first time I’ve read that too much sleep can be detrimental. I know I’m not the guy in the article who is spending 12 hours sleeping, but I am on the high end of the spectrum.

I maintain that sleep patterns vary for everyone. BF is a night owl, and finds that he functions best on 6 or 7 hours of sleep. I expect your pattern might be different from his or mine. Everyone’s body needs something a little different.

That being said, for the last few months, I know the quality of my sleep has deteriorated significantly. BF snores, and while I try to rock the earplugs, sometimes they just hurt my ears so I end up on the couch. Or he does. Either way, it’s not very conducive to good sleep. I realize this may make me feel tired, even after a full night.

Also, BF has told me that I twitch a lot in my sleep. Not the whole-body jerk (the one that happens when you dream that you trip or something) … although those happen pretty regularly. Apparently I just … twitch. I don’t know that it’s impacting my quality of sleep, but it does make me feel bad for the girl that I shared a bunk bed with on the sorority sleeping porch.

The jury is out, and I’m pretty set in my ways on this one. I just feel better when I get 8 or 9 hours of sleep. Any thoughts?

image from peasap’s Photostream

 

Feeling “at home” away from home November 12, 2009

Filed under: other — lexd @ 8:59 pm
Tags: ,

I recently discovered that I really feel comfortable in most restaurants. Like, I would hang out at the bar at the Cheesecake Factory for hours, just watching what was on TV and not talking to anyone (obviously my anti-chain bias doesn’t matter here). I didn’t realize that I was weird for feeling this way until my friend Mike broke it to me.

I would normally chalk it up to the fact that I was a server for many years, in a variety of restaurants, and for the most part — I liked doing that. I get a sense of satisfaction from taking care of people. At the most recent restaurant I worked at, Matts’ Rotisserie and Oyster Lounge in Redmond, WA, clocking out after a long night shift was often followed by taking a seat at the restaurant’s awesome bar and partaking in a glass of wine. This was probably my favorite part of the shift.

Now, I enjoy a glass of wine at home on my own just fine. But when I’ve had a really hectic, shitty day, I find myself heading to the Cheesecake Factory or some other restaurant, sitting at the bar, and just having a glass of wine. The busier the restaurant is, the better. For some reason, this beats out almost every other form of relaxation I’ve tried, from exercise to video games. Wine at home is not the same. There is just something about being able to be silent and still and alone in the midst of all that chaos, enjoying a great red from the west coast.

I now know that this makes me weird … but oddly enough, I’m okay with it. And, it’s not like every restaurant I’ve ever worked in — and had that post-shift hangout in — was some upscale wine bar or something. I’ve worked in small bars populated by locals in a small college town (and students on gamedays) and enormous fast-casual chains, as well.

Any other ex-servers feel this way? I’m curious to know if I really am weird (Mike’s never worked in a restaurant, so he can’t give me his perspective).

Photo from paulaloe’s Flickr page

 

This kid is awesome May 26, 2009

Filed under: other — lexd @ 6:38 pm
Tags: , ,

Recently on BoingBoing, I saw an entry about a question on Yahoo!Answers regarding the legality of keeping a private library of banned books on a school campus (for use by other students). 

I’m mainly linking to this because this kid is AWESOME. He’s using some empty lockers to hold the books, and he gives due dates to borrowers, keeps logs, etc. I’m glad he got serious props in the Answers section. 

Then, I looked at the list of banned books. He explains he attends a private school (so I know they can pretty much ban whatever they want) … but I was still blown away by the works that were banned. Speaking from experience, many of these books are repeatedly a huge part of the AP Literature test — is that course just not offered? Seems kind of silly to deprive students of college credit because they don’t approve of some of the books used (but, who am I to judge.)

Here’s a partial list of the books he lends:

“>The Perks of Being a Wallflower
>His Dark Materials trilogy
>Sabriel
>The Canterbury Tales [SERIOUSLY!? I read this in 6th grade]
>Candide 
>The Divine Comedy [Blown away by this and Candide]
>Paradise Lost
>The Godfather
>Mort
>Interview with the Vampire
>The Hunger Games
>The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
>A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
>Animal Farm [sigh]
>The Witches [Okay, this one got me fired up. This book kind of scared me when I was little, but I read it like 6 times! Dahl was a great children’s author]
>Shade’s Children
>The Evolution of Man
> the Holy Qu’ran

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest [I didn’t read this until college, but I wish I’d read it earlier]
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Slaughterhouse-5
Lord of the Flies [I thought this was mandatory reading everywhere]
Bridge to Terabithia [WTF]
Catch-22 
East of Eden
The Brothers Grimm Unabridged Fairytales.

Also, I laughed when I saw that he didn’t want Twilight polluting his school. I love me some Twilight, but I’d probably throw a fit if the private school I was paying for was having my kids read that. Enjoyable? Yes. Great literature? No.

 

How I know I am getting old April 1, 2009

Filed under: other — lexd @ 8:18 pm
Tags: , ,

It’s been a creeping suspicion of mine that I am what they call “an old soul.” Unfortunately I am not the kind of “old soul” that possesses infinite amounts of wisdom. I am still a spaz. I think I am the kind that is just super crotchety. Case in point:

  • My joints (esp. my right knee) really hurt when the weather is crappy. I would like to point out that I turned 24 in January. Something is wrong here.
  • I constantly find myself wishing that people would just grow up already.
  • I caulked the bathtub in my apartment this weekend, and I am still excited about it (seriously, I leave my shower curtain open so I can see it every time I walk in).
  • I am convinced I have an ulcer. I thought only old people got those?
  • I keep my car ridiculously clean. 
  • Not only do I use a desk calendar (which, it has been pointed out, is absurd since I consider myself pretty tech-savvy), but I love my desk calendar. I color-code it. Pink is personal. Blue is client meetings (code for: wear a suit). Yellow is a recurring responsibility. I know. I am pathetic.
  • I go to sleep by 10 each night, if not earlier. I also wake up automatically at 5:53 every morning. It’s creepy, I know.

That’s pretty much it, but for a 24 year-old? I think that’s sort of intense.