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

 

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.
 

Everyone Needs This List February 15, 2011

Filed under: Words of Wisdom — lexd @ 5:23 pm
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I was going to put up a post about my perpetual frustration with my cowlicks (I have 3), but instead I figured I’d share something that I found on Gina’s Fitnessista blog. It’s a little cheesy, but I bolded a few items that really resonated with me:

Everyone Needs This List

  • The most destructive habit – Worry
  • The greatest joy – Giving
  • The greatest loss – The loss of self-respect
  • The most satisfying work – Helping others
  • The ugliest personality trait – Selfishness
  • The most endangered species – Dedicated leaders
  • Our greatest natural resource – Our youth
  • The greatest shot in the arm – Encouragement
  • The greatest problem to overcome – Fear
  • The most effective sleeping pill – Peace of mind
  • The most crippling failure disease – Excuses
  • The most powerful force in life – Love
  • The most dangerous pariah – A gossiper
  • The world’s most incredible computer – The brain
  • The worst thing to be without – Hope
  • The deadliest weapon – The tongue
  • The two most power-filled words – I Can
  • The greatest asset – Faith
  • The most worthless emotion – Self-pity
  • The most beautiful attire – A Smile
  • The most prized possession – Integrity
  • The most contagious spirit – Enthusiasm

While I’m still dealing with anxiety in a huge way, it’s amazing to me that just about everything has improved since I’ve gotten a better handle on it, and taken steps to reduce the level of anxiety in my life in the first place. No icky ulcers, more energy, less negativity … and I can drink coffee again 🙂

In other happy news, I had a pretty fun minute this morning on the way to work. When I walk to the office, I go by a Maggiano’s, and as I peered in this morning, I saw the ENTIRE crew (like 15 people) do a “go team” group high five and semi-hug. And then I was greeted in the lobby by a Frank Sinatra song. AWESOME.

Hope this day/week bring more positive things your way (and mine)!

Currently Loving: “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele, THIS dress from Rachel Roy, and THIS dress from Suzi Chin. And yeah, I did engage in some retail therapy yesterday after work … it’s a peril of working next door to the mall!

 

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?”

 

 

2,190 days November 13, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 9:38 pm
Tags: ,

That’s how many days I’ve referred to BF as just that — my boyfriend. As is wont to happen, I’d sworn off boys and dating entirely after a really rough freshman year. I was committed to slowing down on the drinking and partying, focusing on having a great time with my friends, and no longer measuring my self worth by how many guys hit on me.

Actually, I just had a lot of rage towards guys in general, so the first month or so of my sophomore year always started like that Dane Cook act (“Screw guys tonight, I just want to dance!”).

And then BF and I found ourselves jointly trying to manage our wasted friends who were all trying to hook up with each other, on a night where we were both sober and had tests the next day. At one point, we just gave up on our unruly friends and chatted together on a couch for a few hours. He was the one guy in his fraternity I’d never hung out with before, and he’d avoided me like the plague — I was one of “those drunk freshman girls” the year before, and he wanted nothing to do with me.

Little did he know 😀

Today, we’re celebrating six years together. It sounds like a hell of a long time (and really it is). But, when you start dating at the age of 19 (in my case) and 20 (in his case), things change so much that it doesn’t feel that long. Both he and I are different people than we were when we started dating, but we’ve somehow managed to grow up together. We’re pretty different people (to be honest, our mutual friends gave us three months before we broke up … TAKE THAT), but we manage to complement each other. That’s not to say we’re not still working on things, both individually and as a pair.

But, thinking about the last 2,000+ days (and looking through old pictures … WOW), we’ve been through a lot, including three bouts of cross-country long distance and one across the Atlantic. I even flew to London to see him (also to see London … but I also spent half the week in the English countryside with him on an Air Force base).

To celebrate, I bought him an awesome beer stein (it says “Those who drink beer go to heaven” in German), and he sent me 2 dozen roses, a dozen chocolate-covered strawberries (MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE NOM NOM NOM) and a chocolate/caramel covered apple (which seems to be MIA right now).

And I’m giddy 😀

Currently loving (again, besides the obvious): Modest Mouse, the Donnie Darko soundtrack, a t-shirt/scarf combo paired with jeans and flats. Seems to be my new uniform 😉

 

On Bookmarks October 22, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 10:22 pm
Tags: ,

I’m the kind of person who uses ANYTHING as a bookmark. I think official bookmarks are kind of a silly idea (although I appreciate that some of them are actually kind of cool looking). I’m a pretty voracious reader, so as you can imagine, I got a lot of bookmarks as gifts/stocking stuffers/souveniers. I could just never keep track of the darn things. Therefore, I use anything within reach. I’m not against dog-earing, but I’d rather just use something and protect the integrity of the book.

As I was ready to get my read on the other night before bed, I realized I’d left The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest downstairs, and I was so comfy that I decided going to get it was out of the question. I reached over to the enormous bookcase in my room (which is also host to a ton of Disney VHSes in the original white packaging … I know), and pulled out Lisey’s Story by Stephen King. I finished the book a few years ago, after buying it at Half Price Books, and enjoyed it — but I realized I didn’t remember a damn thing about it. Totally an acceptable situation for a re-read.

So I opened it, and the bookmark I’d been using fell into my lap. Naturally, I picked it up to see what bit of detritus I’d stuffed in at that point in time.

Before I tell you what it was, I just want to say that this is my favorite part about my bookmark habits. If I took all the bookmarks I’ve used over the years, I could probably create a scrapbook of my life — a better scrapbook than one that just included the photos I’ve taken.

See, the bookmark for this particular book was my boarding pass from one of the worst flying experiences I’ve ever had — the leg from Philly to Orlando in February 2007 — on my way to visit BF while we were still living apart, before I moved to Orlando. The rush of nostalgia made me smile (even though it was a horrendous experience … probably explains why I don’t remember much about the book). I love this feeling. I get it more intensely from stuff than I do from photos, oddly enough. And, it’s why I love my bookmarking habit. I’m constantly reading (and re-reading) books, so it’s a fun practice for me.

Over the years, I’ve also come across a NYC Metrocard, a Metrocard from the London tube, a coaster from a bar in Austin, TX, receipts for a variety of purchases, leaves (I must have been fairly desperate), ribbons embellished with puffy paint from high school volleyball tournaments (these tend to stick to the pages, a poor choice), sheets of stickers and even greeting/birthday cards.

Am I crazy? Does anyone else do this? Or are all of you just boring, tasseled-bookmark users? 😉

Currently loving: Adele (seriously, just listen to her. She has such a unique voice),  time management games (like Diner Dash), that my sister woke me up this morning shouting “CABS ARE HERE!” in a very Pauly-D voice

image from Lucia’s…