Welp, It’s October

And having just visited my blog, I have discovered that I haven’t updated since January. JANUARY. WHO AM I?

A lazy blogger who’s about to dive back in, that’s who!

Quite a bit has happened in these last 10 (10!!!) months:

  • The executive director of the non-profit I work for quit
  • We had interim co-directors for a few months, at the end of which 3 people had quit and everyone else was on the verge of quitting
  • We got a new executive direction in the summer
  • Who is big into social media and the possibilities of doing important outreach work for our mission that way
  • Which has led to a complete shift in my job, toward being the social media/web site manager
  • While still being under an immediate boss who doesn’t understand any of it, and thus keeps hampering my ability to do my job
  • Oh, and did I mention that we work closely with a government agency, and thus our abilities to do our jobs has been hampered significantly by this ridiculous shutdown?
  • Not to mention all the people we work with daily on the government side have been furloughed
  • So there’s that

Oh, and in the middle of all that, I moved (twice!), but am now finally living 20 minutes from work (well, 20 seconds during the shutdown since I’m working from my kitchen these days), and living with my boyfriend!

So, life is actually pretty good.

How’s everything in the blogosphere?

Cabin Fever



Clearly, January is the summit of winter here in the mid-Atlantic. It has been super gross and grey and downright depressing this entire month.

I even managed to get the flu, which took me out of commission for a whole week.

Now that I’m super well again, I’m ready to get out there and do things that the promise of a whole new year ahead of me calls for.

But the weather doesn’t agree with me. We’ve been dealing with below-freezing temperatures, random snow and ice storms, and generally all the weather that makes one decide to move to the Caribbean, stat!

As a result, I have done nothing but go from home to work and back again. And that commute, which is long enough as is (1.5 hours each way) is starting to take even longer due to the weather.

So I’m feeling rather cabin feverish.

I’m trying to find things to do around my apartment that would give me some sort of creative outlet, something — anything! — that would lift my spirits and draw my mind away from the miserable weather and cold. But instead, I find myself staring at the same four walls, refreshing the same sites hoping for something interesting to pop up to distract me for all of 30 seconds, desperately browsing netflix for some undiscovered treasure.

So now I’m turning to you, dear readers. What instantly picks up your day? What changes to your routine do you implement when you reach a rut? How do you chase away the winter blues (or rather, greys)?

“The Lizzie Bennet Diaries”

I’ve been watching “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” for a few months now, but have only just now completely caught up to the most recent episode. If you haven’t heard of or seen “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries,” here’s the first episode – I’ll wait while you watch:

Basically, this is a web series created by Hank Green (brother of novelist John Green) and Bernie Su that retells Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in vlog format. And it’s brilliant! The actors are wonderful, the dialogue is on target, and it’s certainly worth watching.

But it’s got me thinking.

You see, I identify with Lizzie Bennet (as portrayed here, not always in the book or other adaptations), and as I’ve been contemplating the path I want my life to follow recently (as is the prerogative of all 20-somethings, non?), it has raised some considerations for me.

First of all: I. Want. Her. Wardrobe.

But I digress.

By the end of the last episode (number 80 at the time of this writing!), I was thinking more along the lines of what it is that this version of Lizzie is doing, and studying: basically, new media.

You see, in college, instead of choosing a regular major, I went ahead and created my own interdisciplinary major that explored new methods of communication throughout history. I even wrote my thesis on blogs! However, since graduation two three (eek!) years ago, I haven’t really thought about any of that. Instead, I’ve been more focused on finding a job in traditional publishing. Which is all well and good, but what if I’ve been too focused on that?

Watching these “Diaries” and seeing not only what Lizzie has been studying and the fictional companies she’s been shadowing, but also just looking at the vlogs themselves as an example of what it is she is trying to do (I know, circles!) is really making me wonder what other paths might be available to me at this point.

I already know that I have a passion for new media, so what if I started looking at ways that I might harness that interest for both my current job and for the job that I might want in the future? There are many different approaches to the world of publishing – if, indeed, that’s where I want to head. Perhaps I’ve blinded myself to other options by focusing so much on something that’s essentially been a dream since childhood.

I’m not sure where I’m going to go with these thoughts, but I’m going to keep watching Lizzie, keep thinking, and keep questioning. And see where it takes me!

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013!


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Thirteen has always been one of my favorite numbers, so I have a good feeling about this year.

2012 was a good year for me, but nothing really spectacular happened, now that I’m looking back on it. Life continued as usual. I have the same job I had the year before. The same apartment. The same roommate. The same commute.

Nothing really changed.

Not that that’s a bad thing, necessarily, but it’s not always ideal, even if you’re a homebody like me who likes routine.

My resolution for this coming year, this thirteenth year after the millennium, is to live deliberately. Consider every choice before making it. Commit to each decision wholeheartedly. Embrace life.

And if I end up at the end of the year much as I am now, well, then that’s the choice I have made.

But I have a sneaky suspicion things will have changed….


Ruminations on ‘Gold Stars’

Abby over at Bright Yellow World wrote a post today that really resonated with me. In it, she describes one of the results of her annual work review, and how her boss pointed out that:

I cannot tolerate doing less than gold-star-worthy work. And I have a hard time when people with whom I work do not do gold-star-worthy work.

This statement so totally reflects my own attitude, it’s not even funny. I am flabbergasted that, like Abby, I haven’t ever really thought about it in those terms, but now it’s one of those things that I simply can’t stop thinking about.

I don’t know that I’m an over-achiever, but rather I feel that I am able to quickly recognize what is necessary to do a job right, rather than simply done, and I can’t imagine doing anything but ‘right.’ I don’t feel that it counts as ‘above and beyond’ if it’s simply the appropriate way to do something.

The problem, as Abby points out (or rather, her boss does), is the whole working-with-people-who-don’t-“do-gold-star-worthy-work”. I am fortunate in that most of the people with whom I work are similar to me in the striving for achievement rather than doneness, but there are times when I get so frustrated with people for not caring enough to do things properly. It constantly baffles me.

Abby comments that this striving for over-achievement might be holding her back, and I started this sentence about to disagree with her (at least when it comes to myself), but I’ve since come around. Abby doesn’t really comment on why exactly it’s holding her back, but for myself, I think it might be a growing distrust of other people’s abilities to accomplish things to my satisfaction that is hindering me. To put it simply: I don’t delegate well.

I also get incredibly frustrated when I do have to work with others (say, with another company who is contracted to do work for us), and they clearly care about getting a job finished according to the slightest reading of the contract rather than done properly. And while I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to hold others to high standards, I do think it might be a detriment that I can’t easily find a way to work with people that I have no quality control over.

Now, none of this is the whole story, of course, but I don’t want to detract from this with caveats and the like (I’m a good person and fairly easy to work with, I swear!). So I’m interested to hear from you: do you ever find yourself dealing with this? Or maybe on the other end of it? Any advice for letting it go, and moving on, with minimal stress? I’m listening!

The Joy of a Good Story (and an entire sleeve of Oreos)

Today was rather a long day at work. Busy busy busy all morning, I was exhausted by about 1. And yet still had hours to go before I could go home to my nice, soft, warm, cuddly, bed…

Ahem, where was I?

Right, well I ended the day on a rather high note, though a bit rushed. On the train home, I started a new story on my Kindle and fell in love. I wanted to leap out of my chair and do a little dance by the end of the second chapter, I was so happy for the characters and what was going on.

Once home, I had a quick meal of delicious mac and cheese before settling into the couch with my beloved Kindle and a box of Oreos.

Which I proceeded to demolish.

However, I feel no guilt whatsoever. I had a long day at work, I was settled down with a fabulous story, and eating chocolate. What more could I ask for?

There’s no “guilty” in that pleasure. Pleasure for its own sake is sorely missing sometimes, so it’s nice to live in the moment, and focus on what you need to do for yourself instead of what you need to do for the world.

And yes, I did finish that lovely, wonderful, fabulous story, and shall now head to my welcoming bed that has been beckoning for hours….

“Day in the Life” Dreams

I’ve recently (well, comparatively) come across two different “Day in the Life” posts on blogs that I follow, and was utterly entranced by them. When reading someone’s blog, sure you’re discovering certain parts of their lives, but it’s different when you are given a glimpse into what the rest of their uncurated days are like.

And so it go me thinking. My current day in the life would go something like:

6:30am Wake up
7:15am Hop on the train
8:30am Arrive at work
5:00pm Leave work
6:30pm Arrive home
10:30pm Go to bed

But I’ve also been thinking quite a bit recently about what I want to do in the future – how I want to grow in my chosen field, etc. And while I understand that life is unpredictable enough that making too-detailed of a plan could lead to disappointment, I’m thinking visualizing my ideal “day in the life” would be a good exercise.

So, without further ado, or actual timestamps, I present to you my ideal day:

Wake up early
Cup of tea number one
Bang out a couple hundred or even a thousand words of whatever project I’m working on
Catch up on social media and the news in the world (I might even read an actual newspaper if I live somewhere where it wouldn’t be stolen right off my front step!)
Cup of tea number two (and maybe even some breakfast! Daring, I know)
Look over my to-do list for the rest of the day and craft a plan of attack to cross off as many things as possible on that thing
Head to work, hopefully within 20 minutes of where I live
Have fabulously awesome work day that challenges and excites me
Take care of a few errands on my way home from work
Make dinner (hopefully for two!)
Relax, catch up on reading, stay off the computer
Bed time!

Hm. Looks like I was veering into the working-from-home spectrum at the beginning there, and then went in the opposite direction to getting out of the house and interacting with actual human beings! Guess I’m not as ready to consider working for myself as I thought….

Obviously, I left quite a bit out of this first pass and should probably look at that one piece that says, “Have fabulously awesome work day that challenges and excites me,” but in all honesty, I am too tired to grapple with that today, so let’s revisit that this weekend, hm?

What would your ideal “day in the life” look like?

Thoughts on Weddings


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El boyo and I have been dating for over five years now, so it’s bound to come up: when are we getting married? We’re in our mid-twenties, it’s time. Or so they say.

(My parents are terrified and change the subject if anyone brings it up.)

He and I have talked about it of course, especially since those engagement announcements on Facebook start cropping up more and more.

For myself, I can’t see my life without him. But marriage? That’s scary. And uncertain.

Sure, it’s fun to dream about our wedding day, and our life together afterward, but I still feel like I’m not nearly old enough to get married. So whenever someone asks, I say that we’re not really even considering it until each of us has more stability in our lives (and maybe even living in the same city!).

But tonight, I finally got around to watching the Christmas episode of Downton Abbey (spoiler alert coming up if you haven’t seen it! And if you haven’t – what are you waiting for?!).

At the end of the episode, Matthew finally proposes to Mary. And it’s clear that it’s simply because they are simply so in love with each other that they simply can’t not get married.

I was giddy. And then thoughtful.

That’s how I want my proposal to be. Sure, you see all the websites and videos and photos from epic proposals and weddings, each trying to convince you that that’s the only way to do it. It must be big and bold and grand and epic in so many ways. But all you need is one knee in the snow.

It really is that simple. And that really is what I want. It’s nice to be reminded of this instead of being swept away by Pinterest and wedsites, etc, etc, etc.

I’m not a big, grand gesture sort of person. Sure, it could be nice, but I just want to be swept away with how much I love him and can’t imagine living another day without him.

All I want, all it needs to be, is two people so in love, there’s no one who can see them that doubt it. And I want that to be my guiding principle for my proposal (in whatever capacity I have a say in this) and our wedding.

Love really is all you need.

(Off to watch Love Actually!)

Summer Movie Challenge: An American in Paris


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For my first movie of my Summer Movie Challenge, I chose An American in Paris for one simple reason: I own it! Also, I love Gene Kelly, but have never gotten around to actually watching this particular film, so it seemed like a good place to start.

An American in Paris tells the story of Jerry Mulligan, and American GI who dreams of being a successful artist, and thus settles in Paris. He falls in love with a shop girl, Lise, but is also being pursued by a rich woman who claims to want to be his patron, but is interested in more than his art. Lise is also not without her secrets…

While the dancing is fantastic, as one would expect from Gene Kelly, and the music lovely, again as expected from George Gershwin, the movie as a whole doesn’t quite stand up. The plot is tenuous at best, and I didn’t feel like there was any depth whatsoever from the characters or the actors playing them.

The cutest part is the “I Got Rhythm” song, in which Gene Kelly is absolutely adorable with a crowd of French kids:

Thus, overall, it is Gene Kelly, and thus An American in Paris worth a watch if you enjoy dancing. The climax of course comes from the extended (and I do mean extended!) dance scene at the very end of the film, a feature fans of Singin’ in the Rain are familiar with, though it is much better than that one, in my opinion–especially the ballet!