Lexd's Blog

I write about what I want!

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)

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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

 

Enabling good decisionmaking April 9, 2010

Filed under: food — lexd @ 8:31 pm
Tags:

I know I am not alone when I say that it’s real easy to TALK about making good decisions … but when the decision is there, staring me in the face, it’s far too easy to stumble and choose the less “healthy” or “positive” or “I will regret this” option.

As of late, especially because I have been exercising less frequently, I have been trying to make good decisions about food. I’ve found that if I don’t pack a great lunch — something I’m actually looking forward to eating — there’s not much that will stop me from chiming in when my coworkers inevitably look for lunch buddies.

That being said, I’ve been getting my ass out of bed at 7 this week (instead of 730) to make oatmeal for breakfast (we’re out of spinach for green monsters), and while that’s cooking away, I’ve been putting together some great salads for lunch.

I’ve discovered that investing in a few fun ingredients really enables good salads. Goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts are repeat extras in my salads. The other day I added carrots, green pepper, red onion and broccoli to goat cheese, romaine and walnuts to create a bangin’ garden salad.

Today I went more mediterranean (I guess?) with goat cheese, kidney beans, pine nuts, artichoke hearts, romaine and sun dried tomatoes. Both days I was stoked to eat my salad. Today we even WENT to Anthony’s Pizza and I managed to only order a slice of veggie pizza and an iced tea. I am currently noshing on my salad (yeah, yeah, it will ruin my appetite). And it is delicious.

My point? By investing some time in the morning, I can make it really easy to make the right decision at lunch, when my willpower is typically pretty weak. Plus, eating really well during the day means I might be able to sneak another nip of red wine with dinner 😉

Some other fun salad add-ins? Hard boiled eggs (thanks, Easter), sauteed asparagus, and fennel (if you have not tried fennel, DO IT. It is like celery but WITH FLAVOR!).

We are off to Tampa tomorrow for a couple Yankees games in the disappointingly-indoors Tropicana Field. We’re going to hit the Strawberry Festival on the way, and I am tres excited.

image from catsper

 

Learning the Hard Way March 30, 2010

Filed under: food,other — lexd @ 2:45 pm
Tags: , , ,

I told you March was crazy.

On Saturday, BF and I were slated to attend a Yankees spring training game over in Tampa. Both of us REALLY look forward to these games. The facilities are smaller and more intimate, the weather is usually gorgeous (not yet into rainy season, but out of the winter “chill”) … and really, there’s not much that’s better than sunshine, beer, hot dogs and baseball. Really.

BF bought the tix a few months ago, and we’ve been eagerly awaiting the event, as March was batshit crazy for both of us and we needed some time to unwind. We also had plans to meet up with BF’s dad and stepmom at a swanky martini bar in Orlando on our way home.

This would have been an epic day, had the tickets we bought actually been for Saturday’s game. And, had Saturday’s game actually been in Tampa.

That’s right, the tickets we bought were for a game two weeks earlier, on March 13. Saturday, the Yankees weren’t even IN Tampa. We have no idea where we got March 27 from, but we missed the game we bought tickets to. What a freaking waste of $70.

To say the least, BF was pissed (at himself, this is normally a Lex_D move for sure) and sorely disappointed. I was just glad we’d looked at the tickets before we left for Tampa.

We made the most of the beautiful (and may I say, baseball-perfect) weather by hitting up Johnny’s Fillin Station for “Orlando’s best burger” (THERE WERE CANNED MUSHROOMS ON MY BURGER, GET SOME STANDARDS ORLANDO) and then taking a stroll around Lake Eola downtown.

Then we played Borderlands, smoked sheesha and went to bed at a respectable hour.

Lesson learned. Check your event tickets.

To make up for the loss, we are heading down to Disney’s Wide World of Sports today to watch the Yankees take on the Braves. It’s looking like a beautiful Central Florida day, and since the games yesterday and Sunday were rained out, we might even see some starters play.

And yes, we’re positive the tickets for this event are the right ones.

image from ian_ransley

 

Three weeks and beyond December 1, 2009

Filed under: food — lexd @ 8:53 pm
Tags: , , ,

Thanksgiving has come and gone (SIGH). I’ve surpassed my goal of being gluten free for two weeks. It’s now time to re-assess the situation.

According to my weight on Wii Fit on Saturday, I haven’t lost any weight. My clothes are fitting a wee bit different, which is a bonus. But I secretly expected to drop some poundage. I suppose Thanksgiving is not a good week to try and drop some weight, but it’s frustrating nonetheless.

I know that weight shouldn’t be my primary goal — instead, it should be a healthy GI tract, and the ability to fully and normally digest my food. In this, I may have succeeded. Without gluten, I rarely end up with a “food coma” … yes, even after Thanksgiving dinner. I used to refer to them as “carb comas,” which may in fact be indicative that I actually knew what was going on. At the time, I thought that was normal.

The only time I’ve experienced reflux in the past two weeks is when I bend over soon after eating, or when I overeat.

This is a marked improvement over where I stood a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, since I started taking Aciphex in conjunction with a new diet, I can’t conclude that the lessened reflux was directly a result of the diet. But, I’m just happy to be able to drink red wine without (warning: TMI) throwing up in my mouth for hours. I can’t really afford to pay the $130/month that this prescription will cost, so I’ll probably switch to something OTC in 2010.

These results make it pretty easy for me to say that I’m going to commit to a gluten-free lifestyle for at least a little longer. I talked to my dad about it over the weekend, and he said that normally it takes 4-6 weeks for your body to manifest the results of changes in diet/exercise/medication. Since I’ve been doing this for more than three weeks, I only have a few to go. He said at the rate I’ve been exercising and changing my diet, I should start to see some marked results in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Unless I get crazy with the eggnog, that is (yay for dairy)!

Plus, I have a ton of gluten-free food in my pantry, waiting to be eaten. No sense in wasting it 🙂

With that being said, I continue my gluten-free journey. I’m going to keep blogging about it, because it really does keep me accountable. And, I like to share things that I discover … even if it’s only with myself a few months down the road.

I’ve set up my December desk calendar (I know, I’m such a nerd), and finished color-coordinating it (bigger nerd). There’s a lot of blue — my workout color. At this point, I’m doing 2 Pilates/yoga classes a week, and 3 — if not 4 — spinning classes each week, with Friday being my day off. I have planned my entire month, and I’m going to stick to it.

Or, if I feel like it, I may start run/walking those “off” days at the gym. On Saturday I went with my dad and brother, and was actually on the treadmill for an hour, doing run/walk intervals (5.1 flat and 3.6 on a level 3 incline, respectively). I managed more than 4.5 miles! My ankles, shins and hips hated me the next day, but I was so proud of myself. Even my crazy athletic brother was impressed.

My end goal is to lose weight by the time our cruise rolls around (we fly to Houston on January 17th). This may seem weird, but I don’t want to put a number down. Really, I’d be happy with making any progress toward a lower weight — and keeping that number moving down. I saw pictures of myself from the last 2 months recently, and I am heavier than I realized. It’s time to change things up.

wine photo from guttorm flatabo’s Flickr

cruise ships from jimg944’s Flickr

 

“I would totally do that if…” October 22, 2009

Filed under: other,rant — lexd @ 2:23 pm
Tags: ,

Here’s the deal. I’m 24 (25 in just a few months). I’m unmarried, childless, petless, and really have no qualms about trying new things (ie moving across the country to a place I’ve visited briefly … twice).

I currently make a living at a 9-5(ish) job, which is great. I work pretty regular hours, have a paycheck, health insurance, etc. I love my coworkers (probably the smartest people I’ve ever been surrounded by). I’m doing what I went to school for, and not to sound full of myself, but I think I’m pretty good at it.

What I’ve noticed lately is a rash of “I would totally do that if …” thoughts. Like, “I would totally adopt both a cat and a dog if I lived alone.” Or, “I would totally save up money and make a trip to Japan for the cherry blossom festival.”

I know these sound pretty random, but these are actual things I’ve caught myself thinking.

The most recent of these thoughts popped up while I was looking at BoingBoing this morning. I saw an article about the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms program (WWOOF), and was intrigued. Basically, you get yourself to one of hundreds of organic farms around the world, and work for the farm for anywhere from a few weeks to an entire harvest season.

Working may entail caring for  animals, collecting, weeding, building  repair … you work for as long as they  need you, doing what they need you  to do. You don’t get paid, but you  have free room and board, and you  learn the ins and outs of organic farming.

I realize this sounds like willingly going into indentured servitude, but it actually appeals to me. I’ve spoken before about how, while probably being pretty miserable, physical labor at least provides a sense of accomplishment. It’s why I always liked working in, and even weeding my parents’ large vegetable garden.

That being said, if I was living alone, I would totally do it.

And, there it is again. I’m only 24. I have no real responsibilities other than myself (and my boyfriend — we’re nearing the common-law stage, so I have to keep him in consideration). Should I be having these “IF” thoughts all the time? As far as I can calculate, me not being tied down makes this the perfect time to do this kind of stuff. Three weeks on a farm? Yeah, it might not be the best three weeks of my life, but it’s only three weeks.

Did I miss something by not really living on my own for a while? Not being able to buy a bunch of ridiculous throw pillows, plaster my walls with art that suits my taste, a pet that makes me happy, and do fun and wacky things without considering how it would impact someone else? Is there a stage between “getting on your feet after college” (read: living with my parents rent-free until I had enough money to GTFO), and “settling down with someone”?

It’s the only reason I can think of to explain the “IF” thoughts. And it kind of scares me.

Photo: grantsviews

 

Musings on living abroad March 13, 2009

Filed under: other — lexd @ 7:42 pm
Tags: , , ,

No, by this headline I don’t mean that I’m suddenly planning to uproot, dash overseas with my life’s savings in hand and just wing it for a few months. Actually, I’m kind of writing about why I CAN’T do that (although anyone who knows me knows that I would do this in a heartbeat).

I just finished reading this article in the Seattle P-I about a good friend of mine who lived overseas for a while, and it got some wheels turning. Everyone I’ve ever met who has traveled abroad for any point of time has absolutely loved it, gushed about it, given me the “it’s something you’ll never regret; something you must do at least once in your life” schpeel. 

That’s great, and I would love to do something like that. As stated in the article, the freedom would be pretty cool. You’d be on your own schedule, seeing what you want to see, etc … always.

I hear this is how they travel in Europe

Is it really freedom, though, if you depend on having a no-rent place to live and a crappy hourly job to go home to when it’s all said and done?

Don’t get me wrong, but personally, I dislike that. I really wanted to be independent from my parents as soon as possible. Nothing against them, but I was just ready to be on my own — self-sufficiency was important to me. While I really miss my family a lot, there was something that just rubbed me the wrong way when I lived at home post-college and was working as a server. Kind of like I was taking advantage of them, almost? I mean, I generally expected to live at home for a period after graduation, but I was 22 years old and ready to GTFO.

I guess, for me, what’s frustrating is all I hear is, “Just do it! Wing it, fly by the seat of your pants, etc etc,” but the people who are telling me this have a huge safety net. They don’t have established jobs. I get NINE DAYS A YEAR off. I can’t be cavorting off to Europe or Asia or wherever for weeks — or months — at a time. Also, I would be paying rent for my home HERE. It’s just not feasible. 

I guess what it boils down to is that at this point in my life (just past “entry level,” mid-twenties, etc), creating and establishing a life for yourself, and doing what lots of my friends have done — traveling abroad — seem mutually exclusive. Of course my parents would come through if I ever REALLY needed to move back in, needed money, whatever … but just to jet around the world and have “life experiences”? 

Uh, no.