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!!

 

 

“Get it off my chest” sort of entry October 19, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 8:34 pm
Tags: , ,

The last two days have been a little rocky for me. (Well, sort of the last couple weeks, but whatever.) I finished training at the restaurant/bar on Sunday, after 2.5 weeks making tips for other people, and was excited to work last night … but it was too cold to have the patio open, so they called me off. Then, I looked at my schedule for this week and realized I’m not working a whole lot of hours (as in, a third of what I worked last week and the week before). And, I’m working fewer hours for my PR gig.

Combined, that means I have more time on my hands to let anxiety build. That is NEVER a good thing for me.

To deal, I’ve been mentally following the usual guidelines and reviewing the reasons that I should absolutely not freak out about this:

  • I just finished training at the restaurant. It’s not exactly reasonable for me to expect them to give me closing shifts on busy nights straightaway. I know this — I have to earn them, and that takes some time.
  • Fearless leader (aka boss at my PR gig) is spending some time to review and realign strategy. I came into this arrangement knowing these hours might fluctuate, depending on the workload. No reason to panic.

That being said, it is making me feel absolutely terrible to be awake and functional and yet not be making any money. I figured out that I am carrying a lot of guilt right now — BF is miserable and lonely in FL. In order for him to move up here in ~3 months, we both have to do our part financially. And, that’s not just saying that we need to pay bills — we need to build up some savings so we can afford to live on my salary alone while he looks for a job.

I guess all this just hit at once (when it rains it pours … thanks, universe), and I’m in a whirlwind of “what do I do?!” I can’t meet my goals based on my current hourly work schedule at both jobs. I know I shouldn’t really judge things as of today (given the reasons above), but I’m starting to get worried about meeting my financial goals. That being said, I also don’t really want to jump the gun and look for a full-time job because:

  • When serving picks up, I know I’ll be making money that way (seriously, the girl I worked for walked with at least $300 last Friday night).
  • I enjoy my PT PR gig — both the company itself and working with fearless leader. I’m learning new things about an industry I thought I was falling out of love with, and I’m continually being challenged.

But, it’s halfway through October. We’re trying to get BF up here before January 23. I’m starting to feel a crunch. So much so that I actually cried on the phone with fearless leader this morning (I’m still embarassed, so unprofessional).

I’m sure I’m overthinking this right now because I have too much time on my hands, but I’ve been mulling this over for a couple days, and I just needed to get it all out there so I could clear some space in my mind. SO:

On the positive side: I know that I am where I am supposed to be. I know there’s a solution to this situation, and that it will come to be without me freaking out and trying to force something to happen. I know that I am giving 100% to everything right now.

Maybe it’s time to get away from the computer and go enjoy the beautiful fall weather for an hour.

Currently loving: The crate of apples my parents brought back from Eastern Washington (TIME TO MAKE PIES!!), “Dog Days are Over,” by Florence + The Machine, emails from my dad like this one:

“Lex,

I am here for you any time you want. I promise to just listen. You are growing by leaps and bounds. Growing’s not all fun. You have the whole world out there for you. You are an amazing person. Love, Dad_D.”

image from *Micky

 

Wake up call May 24, 2010

Filed under: food,other — lexd @ 3:54 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Fair warning: This is going to be a long post. I have provided pictures to get you through it … none of which have anything to do with the subject matter, but they make me happy.

For the last few months, I’ve been lackadaisical about eating/working out. Basically, I’ve done a decent job … but it definitely could have been better. I’m still trying to make adjustments in an effort to find habits that I can maintain as part of my lifestyle, and I guess I’ve erring on the side of “too relaxed” lately.

I joined a gym near our new apartment on Saturday, and as part of signing up, I went through a session with a personal trainer. I took some good things from the workout, including a reminder to shake things up early and often (mode of cardio, pace, rate and frequency of weight reps, etc).

Then, the part that everyone dreads … being weighed and body fat percentage-tested. I hate scales, so I tried not to put too much emphasis on that number, but it was the highest I’ve been in my life. Like, not even “ok, this sounds like a lot but I am still okay with it” high … seriously fat high. And, my body fat percentage is outrageous. Like, probably seriously impacting my health high.

I know I’ve gained some weight, but I didn’t quite realize it had gone this far.

As you can imagine, this scared the everloving shit out of me. I worked hard for 3-4 months, relaxed a bit the last couple months, and I haven’t even inched closer to the weight I was at three years ago. In fact, everything has gone higher. In addition to everything else, this made me feel like shit about my body. Negative body-talk reached an all time high over the last 24 hours, and even now I am trying desperately to stop.

So, long story short, I ended up signing up for a 1x/week personal training session for 12 months. It was a great price, and I’m pretty sure I’d see results, but when I later sat down to look at my budgeting, I realized there’s absolutely no way I can add this into my expenses and make any sort of dent in my credit card debt. I am supposed to have my first meeting with my trainer tonight, but I called this morning to let the gym know that I’m going to have to cancel the program (you have a 72-hour grace period to do so).

This makes me feel like shit for a number of reasons, including:

  • I already tried to lose weight on my own through a number of methods. Clearly, it didn’t work.
  • I’m worried that I’m going to get charged for something.
  • My weight and body fat percentage are out of control. Maybe this is something I should do, and eat the cost.

I guess I’m just at a point where I’m questioning my ability to do this on my own. I am flat out not getting any support from BF on working out or eating well, so I’m doing this 100% solo. But it wasn’t good enough last time, and I really gave it my all! What if things just keep getting worse no matter how hard I try?

And then the rational part of me says, “calories in, calories out, Lex.” And I respond, “okay, back to My Plate it is.”

So, this morning I called the gym to cancel the personal trainer. I got to work early so I could re-calibrate my MyPlate account. I also took some time to organize a health journal that I plan to carry with me. MyPlate will be the main way that I count calories, but the journal includes the following for each day:

  • Fruit/veg serving count
  • Water count
  • Place to check off that I remembered to take my vitamins
  • Total calories
  • Workout

Basically, I thought about everything that I could be doing to benefit my body and my health, and I want to keep track of that in this journal. I’ve already organized information for the week. For the “workout” section, I’ve either written in a commitment to a class (spinning tomorrow, Yoga on Thursday), or put information from Gina‘s Summer Shape-Up 2010 on a sticky note so I can just take it out and put it on my waterbottle when I go to the gym … and then re-stick it on the journal when I get back.

I’m also going to dedicate time on Sundays to making food in bulk for lunches during the week. I made a batch of 4 of these quinoa black bean burgers yesterday, and have enough leftover quinoa for another meal (probably a tabbouleh-type thing). This way I’ll be able to save money and eat healthier.

It’s Monday. I’d already cried by 9:30 this morning. Creating the journal and re-activating MyPlate took the edge off, but I am still seriously freaked out and desperate-feeling. I am trying to think of today as the first day of Summer Shape Up, a start to a new week, the start of clean eating again, the third day that I’ve worked out in a row. It’s really hard right now, though 😦

Currently loving: Pirate Radio, my mom sending me the newest House of Night novel, taking action to incite positive change in my life (I am trying really hard to make this a big deal amongst the negativity in my mind)

flower image from Lel4nd

sunset image from Per Ola Wiberg

penguin image from Me-Liss-A

 

Causes that move you May 5, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 3:21 pm
Tags: , , ,

Busy busy busy at the casa de D! BF has a less-than-awesome week at work this week, so last weekend he encouraged me to schedule some stuff after work (so he can just come home and be crabby by himself). Hence, fun stuff all over! In honor of Cinco de Mayo I’m heading over to an event at the Enzian Theater in Maitland tonight, and tomorrow night I have a happy hour with my coworkers and then a girls’ night to celebrate a friend’s engagement. And then Friday, I’m considering heading over to Tampa with some friends to see Tim McGraw and Lady Antebellum. Tickets are only $30, and it’s been too long since I’ve seen a concert. Shame shame.

Also, my knee still sucks. So yoga, less-than-brisk walking and icing it is.

I’d like to take a step back from my usual tongue-in-cheek banter and tackle a more serious subject, spurred by Caitlin’s recent post at Healthy Tipping Point.

Charities. They always sound like a great idea, but with so many (and not much disposable income/time), involvement can get a little overwhelming. Prior to moving to Florida, I did community service, but not for any causes that really moved me. It was usually to fill a class requirement or something. My parents weren’t involved in charities, either, so there wasn’t any pressure from them to investigate causes.

My first genuine interaction with charities was really at my current job. I work at a PR firm, and we have a variety of non-profit clients. Through this involvement, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I think part of the reason I was never really deeply involved in a charity before was because I was still growing up and learning about me. I’ve always loved animals, so that’s a given, but my interest in other people was limited. In the last couple years, I’ve discovered that the causes that really set a spark in me are children’s education (including support for deserving teachers), welfare of animals, and children’s welfare.

The education one surprises me. Maybe it’s my secret longing to be a teacher (it’s always been there, I just gravitated more to PR) or something, but my time working with a local school district’s foundation was very memorable. The kids really surprised me sometimes … and the TEACHERS! Some of them were so creative and inspiring.

Also, children’s welfare: To put it bluntly, I’m not a huge fan of kids. I am not planning on being a parent for a long time. But, after taking a facility tour at the Kids’ House of Seminole, I realized that the idea of child abuse and neglect really gets to me. There are children out there who, on a daily basis, deal with circumstances many of us can’t even imagine. I was in tears when we finished the tour 😦

I also spend time volunteering with animals at Pet Rescue by Judy, a no-kill animal shelter. I am not trying to make an obscene comparison, but with both the Kids’ House and PRBJ, I think it’s the fact that recipients of services (children and animals) just need to be loved that appeals to me. They are denied something that is a basic need for most people: love and approval. Positive reinforcement. Socialization. And all they need is my time? Sign me up.

Feel free to share issues that move you — and why!

Currently loving: “Southern Girl” by Incubus, Perfect Protein Pancakes from The Fitnessista, COFFEE! 🙂

image by jetalone

 

The Downside to Home-made Meals February 2, 2010

Filed under: food — lexd @ 3:58 pm
Tags: , ,

As I mentioned yesterday, I spent a good portion of Sunday cooking up some meals for the week (and beyond, hopefully). I used to do this a lot more because I’m the type of person who can eat the same thing for lunch at work all week and really not get sick of it. So, I’d make a big portion of a recipe (I was on a tofu/veg stir-fry/brown rice kick for a while, which was AWESOME), portion it out, and then take it to work every day.

I wanted to get back into this. BF and I are trying to be more cognizant of our food spending habits, because we spend an ungodly amount on groceries each month for two people. Even when I try and justify it by saying that we never go out for dinner (because really, we don’t) and we cook all the time, and we buy a lot of produce … it’s still way too much money for two people. Much of that comes from meat.

So, we’re trying to start eating vegetarian more often (BF suggested 1x/week, but I am running as far as I can with this). I made a huge batch of Mark Bittman’s basic split pea soup, cooked with 2 ham bones I froze after we bought a ham a few months ago, carrots, celery and onions. I also made these Cuban black beans with a pound of dried beans I bought in the bulk section at Publix (SO CHEAP).

When all was said and done (minus the sink snafu, which is a-ok now), I had a buttload of food, portioned into baggies and put in the freezer.

Now that BF is working later, and I hit the gym after work (or happy hour or some other engagement), it’s been harder to cook a decent meal and eat before 8 p.m. And, rotisserie chickens are expensive and starting to not taste so good to me lately. I was hoping to get around that by making all this food.

It’s been great. When I got home from the gym at 7:30 last night, I had some of the split pea soup (beans were a little more al dente than I wanted, but whatevs), toast with some cheese slices on it — dinner ready in about 3 minutes. This was what I was going for.

The problem I run into is that I have no idea how many calories I’m eating … especially with the split pea soup. I looked on caloriecount.com at the calorie load for 1 c. of cooked split peas and it was around 300 … does that sound right? I thought it sounded high. Regardless, what does cooking the beans with ham bones do to the calorie load? Chicken stock? HOW DO I MEASURE THIS?

Now that I’ve been on the food diary kick for a week, I’m starting to see why calorie counting is a problem for some people. It really does make you neurotic. It’s the first thing I do every day when I get into work — fill out info from the night before, spend some time on calorie count … I’m not estimating anymore. I want exact numbers, dammit. And that’s why these meals are frustrating me.

I know that these black beans (and the soup, I hope!) are good-for-me meals that pack a lot of protein and fiber. I’m getting hung up on the calorie load, and that’s problematic for me. Anyone have any suggestions on how to a) calm my neuroticism or b) be more mindful of the calories in these homemade meals?

In other news, the weather sucks in Orlando today, and I have to go get my oil changed at lunch. Pretty much my least favorite errand ever (I hate when they try and sell me on stuff for my car! Just change my damn oil!). Good thing Mom_D sent me a belated birthday gift box with the two newest House of Night books in it … ^_^

book image from Amazon

soup image from myveggiekitchen’s Photostream