Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Challenge For February

So, I've often talked about my love for the website Polyvore. Any ounce of style I now have I credit it to this site. It's made me very aware of what I own, how I wear it, and how I could wear it.

Over the past six months, I've added over 90% of my closet to their online one and I've managed to accumulate 36 outfits that are as close as I'll ever get to perfection and actually being stylish. And as I reviewed them, I realized that, as much as I love the outfits I've created, I've worn most of them once, ONCE, and then continue to look schlubby. As I sit here and type this, I honestly look schlubby! How did this happen?

Anyway, as a remedy, for the month of February, every day I will wear one of my created outfits and document it (and with the leap year, I'll have a couple of outfits to spare). Since the range of my outfits is everything from date night to work wear to running errands, I should be ok as long as I give this some forethought and plan properly so I don't end up wearing my best cocktail dress to the grocery store. And I can't promise I'll wear every outfit all day, but I'll at least try to wear it long enough to leave the house in it.

No decision yet if I'll post pics of myself in the outfits, but we'll see how it goes and how much the husband makes fun of me when he takes my pictures (seriously, I have so many pictures where I'm running at the camera, trying to get him to stop taking pictures).

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Big 25

Today is my 25th birthday. I am officially 25. And so far, it's pretty awesome.

I took the day off of work and slept in. Then, a lovely vegetarian lunch at Pita Jungle with my mom and my sister, followed by some mother-daughter shopping and a movie. I finally got around to seeing "Haywire" and it was pretty badass. A little hard to follow, but those government-y, spy type of movies always are for me. And I found this great blazer that was already 50% off, but the sales girl took another 30% off because she said we were the first customers to be nice to her all day. Sad for her but rocks for me! Round that out with some panties with pictures of zebras and leopards on them and you've got a pretty good day.

Anyway, since my birthday is so close to the beginning of the year, I usually use my year to determine my goals, not the calendar year. I know I set some resolutions, but I've ruined them all by now so it's time for a second chance.

Here it is: 25 is the year I'll be awesome. Well, more awesome, thank you very much. And I can be awesome because there's nothing going on this year! For the first time in a long time (knock on wood), there isn't anything big coming up on me. No graduations. No job changing. No wedding. No house hunting. I just get to work on my house, work on my marriage, and work on myself. So this year, I dedicate it to awesomeness.

Hold onto your socks, world, it's about to get cah-rayzy!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Yes, I'm this awesome...

This is how I spent my Saturday afternoon. Yes, I am a master at Paint.

I can really get behind this new layout.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Random Fact: Facebook Judging

When I'm stalking someone from high school on Facebook and they list some crazy, pointless major, have already graduated, and don't list where they work, I don't assume it's because they're protecting their privacy. Let's be honest, I assume they are either unemployed or embarrassed of their job because it has nothing to do with their major. You know you do it, too.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

An Explanation

So my blog has been dark for a while now and I think it's time to start posting again. But first, an explanation of what happened.

There's this website that I used to go to (please note the past tense). It was run by this "writer" in NYC (you do not count as a writer just because you write things on the internet. Let's be clear. I don't have any dillusions that I'm a writer. I'm an engineer and a damn good one. End of rant). She prided herself on her "tough love" approach of replying to submitted letters, but it really just meant she was a bitch and used labels to justify it. I never really liked her, but the other people who commented on the site were nice and entertaining so I kept going back. If the internet had a mean girl clique, she was definitely in it.

Just before New Year's, I sent her an email to contribute to her site. I read through all of her information on how she handles letters. Under the guidelines she stated, I wrote my letter. There was some very personal information in the letter but according to her guidelines, she wouldn't post it. However, I let it be known that she could use some of the information in my letter, but nowhere did I mention the very personal information because it should have been a non-issue. She clearly stated in the guidelines she wouldn't post it so I didn't give it a second thought.

About a week past and I stumbled upon her site and realized she posted my letter. Not only did she post my letter, she posted everything. EVERYTHING. All the personal stuff that was clearly supposed to be taken out. I was furious. I wrote an angry email to her but I never sent it. I figured with the readership of her site being so low (which she had posted about it at one time), no one who knew me would read it. She even had the nerve to post a statement that she knew it was out of the ordinary, but she had permission to post it, which was blatantly untrue. I stopped going to her site and I thought it was the end of things.

Well, about a week later, I was on another website I visit, one I know a lot of people I know visit, and I will never be able to clearly describe how angry I was when I saw my letter. Personal information and all. Apparently, she had sold it to this much larger website. I knew she collaborated with the site from time to time, but to choose to use my letter, containing such personal information, was a horrible thing to do. It felt like my skin was on fire. My hands were shaking. I couldn't see straight.

I think I wrote the fastest email I had ever written. I wrote to her telling her that I did not give her permission to use that information in the first place and she needed to have it pulled from the bigger site. Then, still furious, I wrote a second email telling her I wanted her to delete the information from her site as well.

Still seething, I got a response from her 20 minutes later. She basically called me stupid and crazy. She told me if I wanted it off the other site, I needed to take it up with them. And that she wasn't going to change what she had originally posted. She called it "nonsense" and told me there was nothing she could do about it.

Yeah, right. Because some big book company must have come along and wanted to publish her website. It's a website! She would have just had to do Ctrl+F and it would have taken her two seconds, but she decided to be a bitch about it.

So I sent a reply clearly outlining the fact that it was not nonsense, I had not given her permission, and she needed to remove it. Then, I took her advice and emailed the other website. I emailed their contact email. I emailed the editor-in-chief. I commented on the piece. I did everything I could to bring attention to the piece because even if in some twisted world she thought she had permission to post my information, there was no way in hell this other website had the permission.

She replied to me and started to act like a raving loon. If it would have been outloud, I imagine it sounded like a middle school girl having an episode. She started screaming (all caps) about how she did have permission and she made some sort of "exception" for me (gee, thanks for only exploiting me) and that she refused to remove it.

I went back to my original email and quoted what I had specifically given her permission to post. She tried to twist it so it did give her permission and continued to throw a hissy fit. After a couple more emails back and forth, I started talking to her like she was a child since she clearly wasn't responding to logic. Once I got her to calm down, she emailed me a bunch of stuff she probably shouldn't have, declared she made a mistake ever publishing my letter, and decided she would delete everything associated with it. Fine by me.

Then, she had the nerve to tell me to never come back to her site again and to never email her again. Yeah, I'm just itching to spend more time on her site.

I wrote her a two word email telling her thank you and again, poorly assumed it was the end of it. I checked on the other site and was pleased to see that they had already removed my personal information, leaving the remainder of the letter, which was all I had asked the crazy lady to do. No angrily worded emails from them. Just simply removed the information and moved on, like the professional site they are.

About an hour later, I got one final email from her. She was screaming at me about how I had the nerve to go to the other website (which is EXACTLY what she told me to do) and how I had jeopardized her relationship with them by spreading lies (when I only told them the truth as it was) and that "this is the reason I have lawyers". 1) No lawyer in the right mind would have told her it was ok to post my personal information even if I had given her permission. 2) I outlined so clearly what she could post that no one could read that and assume I had given her the rights to publish what she did. 3) She may know lawyers, but she definitely doesn't "have" lawyers.

Just in case it wasn't a threat (or she decided to go true middle school girl on me and try to retaliate in some way), I disconnected my internet identity. Deleting profiles, links, connections from anything that could be associated to the real me. I realized that I've been too careless how my internet identity could affect my real one. The negativity of the internet has been getting the best of me and I decided to stop it. I don't visit sites that just tear people down. I don't visit blogs unless I know the person is a good person in real life. I don't comment unless my words reflect the person I really am. So now, my policy is I'm not posting anything I don't want my little sister or my mother-in-law or my husband or my manager to read. It may make things more dull, but it'll be less likely to give me an ulcer.

Also, for future reference, most of the time, people put the best of themselves out there. If someone is acting like a bitch on the internet, odds are that is the best of them and they are an even worse person in real life. If it waddles like a bitch and quacks like a bitch, well, you know...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Blog Status

Due to what can only really be classified as cyber-bullying, I'm taking the blog down for a couple of weeks. I'll write down anything exciting that happens to me and we can catch up later! Thanks for your support.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Fan of Friday: Week of 1/6/2012

Ok, if I haven't made this clear enough, I have this strange love for Jurassic Park. Like watch it everytime it's on TV, hunting for sequel news, wish I had dinosaur pajamas (HINT HINT) obsessive kind of love.

Well, today I found this:

It's a bunch of art inspired by the people of Jurassic Park! How crazy is that? How insane of me is it that I would love a nice oil version of this over my imaginary claw foot bath tub? I also really like the 80's styled one of Lauren Dern. It's just awesome.

Anyway, while we're discussing the art of Jurassic Park, have you been to Minimalist Movie Poster Tumblr yet? It's amazing what can inspire some people to create a poster. And I love it!

It's worth a scroll through if you haven't seen it before. I just wish they had them on Amazon. I would probably wall paper our house with them.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Work Out Wednesdays: Technology

The New Year has gotten off to a good start and it's all due to technology. Seriously, if I'd known it was this easy to motivate myself by upgrade my old stuff to devices actually from this decade (wow, I meant that as a joke, but it sadly is a true statement), I would have done this months or years ago. Let's break it down.
  • The New Ipod. Dan got me a Nano for Christmas and, while I already had an Ipod Mini (remember those?), this new one has given me the motivation to actually treat it well. And maybe more importantly, we found a way to get downloads for free (shh!). I went hog-wild! Crazy! I've always had lists going of all the music I wanted to get someday, but it would have cost me hundreds of dollars. With my new Ipod and all my new music, I am excited to hop on the treadmill. I want to listen to my new music and I only let myself do it if I'm working out, so it's become great motivation. Now, if I could only learn how to use it properly. I swear, no exaggeration, I accidentally restart my shuffle at least 3 times each time I run. So. Incredibly. Frustrating. But once I get past that and can keep downloading new music to keep myself excited, this should be easy.
  • My new phone. There's a reason they are called smart phones: they are so much smarter than the people that use them. And mine has outsmarted me in two ways: 
    1. The calendar. I found this guide online of how to train for a 5K and I committed to it. By committing to it, I marked out time in my phone calendar for each and every workout for 10 weeks. 10 whole weeks. Granted, I'm sure things will have to shift around at some point, but for now, I know which days I work out and what I do on those days. And let me just say, if you plan on trying this workout plan, it is intense. Or maybe I'm just really out of shape, but being on the treadmill for a an hour every other day really takes a toll on your feet quickly. My feet are going to be so ugly by the end of this, but my legs will be awesome!
    2. The Calorie Counter. FatSecret (don't you hate that name? I hate it!) makes a great food tracker app. I tried planning my food out. I really did, but it just got to be too hard. So, I'm tracking everything I eat with this app. And it's great because it's got a huge database filled with almost every food you can imagine and its nutritional information, so it does all the totals for you. It sums up the calories and lets you know what percentage of the calories you've eaten that you need to eat that day based on your weight goals. I check it before I eat something so I know the serving size. I record what I eat after I eat it. I note the exercise I did that day. 
I feel like I'm on the right track. For some reason, deep in my bones, this time feels different. I can envision myself in my newer, healthy body at the end of this. I am committed to making a solid run at it. I know I've said that before, but hopefully, I won't have to say it again.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Resolutions: 2012

I'm not a big fan of resolutions. I've never been good at keeping them and it amazes me the number of people who have disregarded their resolutions by February.

That being said, I thought I'd try them this year. However, they really aren't resolutions, these are more like guidelines.
  1. Be better at communication. I suck at my cell phone. It's constantly dead. There are consistently unheard voicemails. Emails take days or weeks to be replied to. Not anymore. I will be better! It will be charged. I will get a charger at work so I can get calls there too. I will respond to emails as soon as I read them. I will listen to voicemails and call people back by the end of the day.
  2. Be more positive. Most times, I assume the worst. The worst in people, the worst possible outcomes, blah blah blah. And sometimes, it is a good strategy. It often does help me avoid being disappointed by expectations that are too high, but more often than not, it makes me assume the worst about the people themselves. And it's nearly impossible to let people in when you are assuming the worst about them.
  3. Shave my legs once a week. Before you become grossed out, I have a skin condition. My skin breaks out in a very painful rash when it becomes worn. The most common place it occurs is on my legs where I shave, but I've gotten it in my underarms and when I used to wear a watch. Anyway, in order to keep it at bay, I've gotten good at putting off shaving, which I am very lucky to have very light hair so it's hard to notice. But I've gotten out of the habit and since I haven't had an outbreak in a while, it's time to see what happens. My doctor told me that while medication can help, the only thing that will make it go away forever is for me to grow out of it. Time to see if I have grown.
  4. Incorporate more vegetables into my diet. You would think as a vegetarian my meals would be chock full of vegetables, but I kind of just have a couple on rotation. Hopefully, in my new work out plan, by planning out my meals the night before, I will be organized enough to cut up cucumbers for an afternoon snack. I will try to reach for baby carrots to dip into hummus rather than crackers. I will learn to cook a side of something that is not just frozen corn.
  5. Hang out with someone once a week. I have fallen into the trend of making time and effort for friends when life gets really easy and straightforward. All that said, how hard is it really to meet a friend to catch up for dinner after work? Or to invite someone over for pasta and to show off the renovations we've been doing? I need to not put pressure on every time I hang out with someone and hopefully by increasing the frequency, I'll get better at this and things will be easier.
  6. Work out before work once a week. Most Fridays, I dress up really cute and by the time I get home from work, working out is the last thing on my mind. I want to go out and be seen! So, if I can work out in the morning before the easiest day of the week, I might be able to start the weekend on the right foot. Morning yoga isn't so bad, right?
  7. Put some effort into every outfit I wear. Is it really so hard to put on a cute pair of flats, some bracelets, and a coat of mascara when I run to the grocery store? I think not. 
  8. Finish painting the house. We've got about a third painted and while it's not pressing, the hardest part is just choosing the colors. Once we've finally done that, it's moving furniture, patching up the old walls the former owners didn't bother fixing, painting, then reploacing light fixtures and outlet covers. It adds up remarkably quickly, and while I hope we finish it up next year, I hope it takes all year for the sake of our budget. But it's amazing how changing the color of the walls makes the house feel more like ours.
I know most of my resolutions are fairly shallow, but that's how resolutions are supposed to be. Otherwise, they're just goals and those are sooooooooooo boring.