Lexd's Blog

I write about what I want!

On Mountains February 9, 2011

Filed under: other,rant — lexd @ 11:33 pm
Tags: , , , ,

So, it’s been 6 months since I moved back here, and I am still stoked. Not just because of beautiful days like today (it’s cold but NO CLOUDS NO RAIN BRING ON THE SUN) … for a lot of reasons. One of these is MOUNTAINS.

For those of you who have only lived in the Pacific Northwest (or anywhere with substantial mountainous terrain), you may not realize how freaking awesome they are. While I love the beaches of Florida, it always felt like a little something was missing from the horizon. Having grown up in Washington, THERE WAS SOMETHING MISSING.

BEHOLD:

image from ellie

All kidding aside, this is exactly what you would see on a clear day as you went around your business anywhere in the Seattle area (including the Eastside). This, friends, was a part of the backdrop for me. And, I never realized how accustomed I’d grown to mountains until I moved somewhere without them.

Don’t get me wrong, Florida has incredible sunsets and amazingly lush greenery. But when it comes down to it, I still smile every time I catch a view of the mountains around here. This is a shot up on Snoqualmie Pass, about an hour from my house (I-90 runs through the Pass):

image from starmist1

And this was taken at an unidentified point in the Cascades. I’m sure it was massaged with Photoshop, but do you see what I’m getting at? The greenery and mountains up here are &$^%*#@ epic:

image from christygordon

I am kind of struggling right now, because the photos don’t quite do the views justice. It’s one thing to be looking at a photo … and then it’s another entirely to actually see an incredible view like that in person. Particularly so when you are doing something mundane like driving to the dry cleaner, or the grocery store.

Especially when it’s the big daddy:

image from dizfunkshinal

Every. Single. Time. I see this mountain, it makes me happy. While I’m sure the above photo was also Photo-massaged, here’s one that’s not quite the same quality … but Rainier still looks incredible.

image from jay galvin

Imagine seeing that during your commute 🙂

That being said,  a “clear day” is required to partake in this natural beauty. And I suppose at that point, the joke is on us. According to Seattle’s Wikipedia entry, the city has — on average — at least partly cloudy skies 294 days a year.

Enough with the photo-ing. My name is Lex, and I %^$#@(* love mountains (even though I can’t ski, board, sled, or climb, and I hate the cold). I still love them.

Currently loving (besides mountains): “Panic Switch” by the Silversun Pickups, this columnist’s response to the question “How do I know if she loves me?” (sent it to BF and apologized for never making him a shark-shaped pancake), fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu comics

 

 

Settling into Seattle August 18, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 3:41 pm
Tags: , , ,

Sorry for the lapse in posting. It’s been mad busy over here, and I’m trying to get about 920375190345 things done before BF flies in Saturday morning. 😀

So, it’s been a week since I landed here in Seattle, with no plans to leave again in the forseeable future. The weather has been blindingly fabulous (high 80s and even into the 90s), my car arrived a-ok last Saturday in time to attend an amazing wedding, and I started my freelancing gig.

I am cynically aware that I am still in the honeymooning period … but I am very happy right now. In fact, I’m happier than I’ve been in months. I haven’t had a nightmare since I got here (these used to be nightly occurrences). I can’t quite explain it except to say that it feels like I don’t have a giant “to do” list hanging over my head all the time, guilting me if I decide to do something fun.

That’s not to say I don’t have stuff to do.

Our household goods/furniture are slated to get in tomorrow or Friday. Getting it all in the storage unit could be interesting (maybe a little like Tetris), but it’ll work out.

DID YOU SEE WHAT I JUST WROTE? “It’ll work out.” Who is this girl and what did she do with Lex? 🙂

In the past week, I’ve made an awesome dinner for my family, we’ve dined alfresco more than once, I’ve drank great beer (and $2 Chuck), visited Trader Joe’s, exercised every day, seen friends from college, friends from high school, and friends from even further back. I’ve laughed so hard I almost peed (true story, Outburst is a hilarious game when played with the right people). I’ve seen Mt. Rainier in the distance wherever I drive (INCREDIBLE). I’ve grinned as I saw the Space Needle from I-5. I’ve smelled the briny air down by the piers, walked around downtown Seattle, and attended a great independent theater event. We walked to dinner beforehand, and we took the bus to the event. Right now I am seated at the kitchen table in a quiet house, with the door open and a breeze carrying the 60-degree air is blowing past me. It feels a little heavy — it’s overcast and I think today might bring some rain — but it’s really refreshing. I am snuggled into a fleece and drinking coffee, ready to start being productive.

Goddamn, I missed Seattle.

Currently loving: this Columbia fleece I “found” (and by “found” I mean “stole from my sister”), Eat, Drink and Be Vegan, “The Salon of Shame” (aka where I was last night)

image “Seattle from Alki” from .Bala (who has incredible photography, BTW)

 

FREAKING OUT, MAN August 4, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 4:09 pm
Tags: ,

Okay, so sometimes deep breathing doesn’t always work. Anxiety is at an all-time (we’re talking 25+ years all-time) high right now. We’re re-adjusting the moving contract so I don’t have to worry about cramming our lives into 12 boxes (this was a major relief, seriously, shoot high if you ever have to do this). This is helpful.

What’s stressing me out at this point is money.

BF and I have managed to live a fairly comfortable life over the past 3 years. I wish we could put more money away, but we’re really trying to eat away at our debt.

As of August 1, I am almost maxed out everywhere. In order to pay for this move and to move my car (and to give BF money for bills and pay my own bills), I will be left with not even $50 to my name, one maxed-out credit card, and another card with a cushion of about $300. I’ve already had two freak-out crying sessions today and it’s not even noon yet. I know that these things will get better once I have income again (half of which is already addressed), but this transition period is enough to make me constantly nauseous.

And then, I started to think about people who are in this situation or one worse every single day. I can’t imagine having to function under this level of stress. It’s already making my stomach hurt all the time and making it hard for me to sleep. 😦

Some things that have made me feel better, when I’ve been at my worst:

  • HARD EXERCISE. No joke, I was up at 5:30 AM Monday because I couldn’t sleep (this never happens, you could set a clock to my normal sleep schedule), and so after packing, I took my first hour-long spinning class in three months. It kicked my ass (I was a sweaty mess after), but it made me feel SO much better. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for yesterday’s workout (dead iPod = low drive to push myself). I bet yoga would feel great, too. I should see if I can find my mat. (OVERZEALOUS PACKING MONSTER)
  • WORK EVERYTHING OUT ON PAPER. Not only am I painfully touchy-feely, but I am also painfully visual. So, when BF is talking me through the financial stuff over the next 3 weeks, it only confuses me more and makes me cry (breakdown #1 of today). So, I hung up the phone and set out to work it out myself. I created a weird timeline/payment plan hybrid document that details how much money I’ll have, what I need to do with it, when, so that all my ducks are in a row. Then, I had BF review it. I feel better about things now. I mean, it sucks that I’ll be left with $50 (and 5 weddings to buy presents for! YIKES), but I feel like I have a handle on where things are going.

That being said, time to go to the gym. Lex out.

Currently loving (egads this was hard to come up with today): Happy hour with coworkers at my old job at Gators this evening, BF is meeting with LawyerDad (his) to make some headway with the stupid insurance bills, Heaven in a Glass Smoothie after I work out!

 

Glutton for punishment July 28, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 3:57 pm
Tags: , , ,

With less than 2 weeks until I board my one-way flight to Seattle, I’m finding myself coming up with all these new ways to handle stress.

As previously mentioned, deep breathing.

BF has started to implement a coping strategy I fondly refer to as  “the worst thing.” Basically, he sits me down when the threat level starts to hit orange and he says:

“Lex, what is the absolute worst thing that could happen if the things that you are worrying about come to fruition?”

At this point, I’m usually borderline-crying, so it takes a minute for me to process his question. And then I answer it as rationally as humanly possible.

Usually, “Our stuff will get broken/it will be more expensive/I didn’t do something right.” (Can you tell I’m freaking out about moving?)

And at that point he says very soothingly, usually while holding my hand (because I am so kinesthetic it’s ridiculous), that it’s just stuff or it’s just money. Clearly I’m already doing the best I can, and that’s all I can expect of myself.

And then he usually follows up with a poorly-timed joke about how if I break his Don Mattingly bobblehead, that he’ll break up with me. But that’s just how he is.

This sort of seems like a “glutton for punishment” strategy, since I’m forcing myself to think about the worst possible scenario. But really, it helps my mind cement consequences — and as far as I’m concerned, once I have a chance to process those, I tend to calm down. Consequences I know about are far better than consequences that I don’t, or that I haven’t taken time to think about. See, I’m a control freak. It’s just how I am. Anyone else?

Also, this is random, but I can almost get into the plow yoga position by myself (I am terrified of hurting my neck, which has made this challenging) — and I’m almost able to get straight up into the supported shoulderstand! I was so proud of myself the other night. 🙂 Also, new favorite pose: FISH. Holy chest opener.

Currently loving: My coworker is in labor, wheee!;  super cute summer wedding dresses from RentTheRunway (which one should I wear to my 3901235r10 August weddings?); sprinting to “Shut Me Up” by Mindless Self Indulgence

this incredibly relaxing photo brought to you by Tony the Misfit

 

There’s ALWAYS something else July 25, 2010

Filed under: food,other — lexd @ 5:15 pm
Tags: , ,

So I am waist-deep in packing our apartment for the upcoming big move (I’m not sure what “waist-deep” means in terms of packing, but whatever), and I am pretty much swinging back and forth from “I have this under control” to “HOLY SHIT I HAVE TO REVISE THE MOVING CONTRACT AGAIN.”

Like, swinging back and forth every 5 minutes.

I thought it was going to be awesome that BF will still be here after I leave, but it’s starting to make packing really hard. I know I can leave some stuff, but not too much … otherwise he won’t be able to fit it in his car. And, it’s starting to mess with my “if I can’t see it, it must be packed” mentality. Because there’s a lot of stuff still left out. I’m starting to veer into that “JUST FUCKING THROW IT AWAY” crazy-lady mentality.

And by “starting to” I mean “I’m here but don’t want to admit it.” BF poured himself a Jack and coke about an hour ago, and that’s when I knew I was crossing a line. This has got to be taken care of, though.

Anyway, I put this picture from CuteOverload on my iPhone background to take the edge off:

See? It totally helps 🙂

Also, I made myself this seriously incredible shake for lunch. I made it yesterday post-workout, and couldn’t believe how delicious it is, and even the texture … YUM. It’s like a semi-thin delicious milkshake.

Heaven in a Glass

1 frozen banana (I pre-peel a few and just throw them in the freezer for a week)

1 c. plain almond milk

1 level scoop of Designer Whey chocolate protein powder (although any chocolate p. powder would probably work)

1 T. creamy peanut butter (I use a natural one without added sugar)

Put all of the above in a blender and go to town for 20-40 seconds (until it’s mostly smooth). OMG I want another one right now. I may or may not have used my fingers (carefully) to get extra out of the blender. It’s that good. Plus, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a good mix of carbs and protein.

 

Deep Breathing July 23, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 2:04 pm
Tags: ,

I know, what a stupid title for a post. But seriously, it’s saved my ass over the last couple weeks.

With everything going on at work, at home, in Seattle … it’s been a near-crushing feeling of constant panic for weeks on end. And, at a time in my life when I need things to go well with a minimal amount of attention/pushing, things just keep going wrong.

I’ve been remembering my mantra (“if anything can go well, it will”), which has been helping stem the flow of frustration and (and sometimes anger). But that doesn’t always make it easy to deal with problems as they arise (and as I’m panicking inside).

Instead, I’ve been taking to deep breathing lately. I attribute this mostly to yoga. When something unexpected/unpleasant/annoying happens, I just draw in breath as long as I can through my nose, feel my lungs and diaphragm expand … and then let it out in a big whoosh. It’s kind of noisy, but it really makes me feel better. And that’s what matters right now.

Currently loving: FRIIIIIDAY!, starting work on a new project today and tomorrow, gym date with BF tonight!

 

WANTED: My dream neighborhood July 20, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 1:07 pm
Tags: ,

I know I’m kind of jumping the gun here because I haven’t even left Orlando yet, much less really started to look for a place to live in Seattle. But, two of the bloggers I read regularly (Kath and Caitlin) just moved/are moving, and they’ve been talking about their respective new neighborhoods … and it got me thinking.

When BF and I finally reconnect in Seattle and are looking for a place to live, what’s important to me? By no means is this a comprehensive list, but it’s a good place to start.

  • Safe. I want to be able to walk down my street and not be anything more than generally cautious. For this reason, I’m eliminating anything close to Aurora.
  • Quiet. While nobody wants partiers for neighbors, there’s only so much I can control. I don’t particularly want to live near a super-busy street or intersection … or in the U District (noisy neighbors)!
  • Walkable (and bike-able). This one is of particular importance to me. I think one of my biggest frustrations about Orlando is that it’s not designed to be a walkable city (probably because you don’t want to be outside for 4 months out of the year). That means you have to drive everywhere. I would much rather walk or bike, and I’d like to live somewhere that encourages that. Pedestrian-friendly is key.
  • Locale. This kind of goes along with walkable, but I’d like to be within walking distance to a decent grocery store, at least 1 coffee shop that’s not a chain (this is Seattle, this is shooting pretty low), a major bus line and at least 5 restaurants and bars.
  • Dog-friendly. This, like the coffee shops, isn’t much to ask for in Seattle. People love their pets there (although not in that my-dog-is-in-a-stroller-I-love-it-so-much way). While I’m not going to try and take it in to restaurants or shops, I’d like to live somewhere where dogs aren’t unusual, where sidewalks are decently wide, and with a park where we can play. (And by “we” I mean my future dog and I :).)

Too much to ask? We’ll see in a few months 🙂

Currently loving: PMS is finally over (TMI but I’m sorry, I’m really honestly loving it), dinner with two good friends last night (tapas mmmm), instrumental Grooveshark playlist

Mantra: “If anything can go well, it will.”

image from Wonderlane (it’s in Fremont)