Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Life happenings

by bayasaa via Flickr
July was largely a good, albeit busy, month for me. I'm happy to report that I have a new boyfriend in my life and he's pretty great. I usually go for older guys, but he's a few years younger than I am, so I'm shaking things up a bit.

The Bay Area has been entirely too cold for my liking- July should be a sweaty month, not a month of wearing a coat everywhere and wishing I had put socks on before I left my apartment. I constantly forget it's summer and that kind of makes me sad. Oh well, at least I have a boy to cuddle up with now :-).

So, what have I found around the internet lately?

Have you checked out 40 Days of Dating yet? I find myself checking on the two friends' dating progress every morning out of sheer curiosity and secretly rooting for them.

Don't always assume heavy bass means rap.

It often seemed like I had trouble finding good pizza when I traveled from home and I finally found out why: I grew up in the pizza belt.

Beer terms for the casual beer drinker.

62 of the world's most beautiful libraries. I've been to two of these!

Want to swim in the clearest waters on Earth? Here you go.

Super helpful if you're planning to fly any time soon: security line wait times!

The 5 best west coast road trips

5 Chinese restaurants in my backyard that I must try

As the owner of a fat orange tabby, these famous paintings with a photoshopped fat cat had me in stitches.

I hope you had a great July and have plans for a wonderful August!

Monday, July 29, 2013

The 2000 Things challenge: part 4

by delete08 via Flickr
I feel like this update on my 2000 Things challenge is a little sneaky. I'm sure most of you were thinking that by "things" the items gotten rid of had to be physical items. I took a broader interpretation of "things" and decided to include electronic clutter as well. Lucky for you, I'm not including email in this challenge (because I would have hit 2000 ages ago), but am sticking with locally hosted files instead.

First, let me give you a rundown of my sad physical item count:

  • dry rotted bathing suit
  • tin of lotion
  • 1 sample that was mailed to me
  • 3 books
  • a box my cats stopped playing with

That brings me to 219 physical items gotten rid of thus far. I have a number of things that I've been eyeing to get rid of, so this number should get much larger soon.

To keep me from falling down the rabbit hole too much in terms of electronic clutter, I focused on things I could delete off of my smart phone. I knew there were probably a few contacts and some old pictures I could wipe without much thought. Boy, did I ever underestimate how much was lurking on my phone:

  • 893 files, mostly pictures, deleted off of phone
  • 7 contacts deleted off of phone
  • 1 app deleted off of phone

Yup, 901 things got deleted off of my phone last week. Hard to believe something so small can hold so much. I think it's just as important to keep your electronic files well organized as it is to organize your physical items since a cluttered hard drive can cause just as much of a headache and inefficient use of time as a cluttered desk.

Since all I'll need is an afternoon of deleting things off of my laptop to reach the 2000 goal, I'm going to keep the physical and electronic tallies separate. I still have a lot of physical items to go through, so I don't want to use the electronic clutter as a cop out.

Were you ever surprised by the amount of files you've been able to delete off of your phone or computer?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Little things

via Pinterest

"We sometimes underestimate the influence of little things." -Charles W. Chestnutt

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Someday is Today: Stop hitting snooze

I was never much of a snoozer. I never saw the point; that is, until I moved in with one of my exes who was a big time snooze button abuser. At first, the blaring of the alarm every 10 minutes for half an hour was incredibly annoying, but then I got used to the sleep disruption and, one day, discovered that I was starting to hit snooze myself to eke out a few extra of minutes of sleep. Now, 6 years later, that habit is still firmly with me.

I have a hunch that I could find scientific proof to back this up, but waking up every ten minutes just can't be good for you and can't possibly make you more rested. I'm basing my decision to call it quits with my snooze button on my personal experience of feeling groggier when I hit snooze than when I get up when my alarm first goes off.

Since I am not a morning person in the least, this goal might take a little self trickery. Placing my phone far away from my bed will probably have to happen at some point so that I'll have to physically get out of bed to turn the alarm off and reduce the chance of falling back asleep. I think for starters though, I'm going to set my alarm for the absolute latest time I can get out of bed so that I'll know that if I hit snooze, I'll inevitably be late for work.

Do you hit the snooze button? How do you trick yourself to get out of bed on time in the morning?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Travel lately: Chicago and Clearlake

I had been trying to make my way to Chicago for the last three years to visit friends and see what this iconic Midwest city had to offer, but didn't manage to make it there until a few weeks ago for a conference. I was there for just about a week, but sadly did not see as much of the city as I would have liked since my conference kept me incredibly busy. I did stop into Millennium Park to see the infamous "Bean" (actually called Cloud Gate).


Attracted by the bright colors, I also walked through the Boeing Galleries and saw an exhibit by Jun Kaneko titled "Legends, Myths and Truths." I had seen his "Dango" pieces before, but the standing bear type creatures (apparently they're supposed to be a badger or raccoon type animal) called Tanuki were new to me:

Kinda creepy, especially when walking alone

I really liked the vibe Chicago had and I plan to visit again to really spend time seeing its attractions and eating its highly rated food.

The day after I flew back from Chicago, I hopped in a car and went up to Clearlake, CA for a long July 4th weekend.

I water skied for the first time in 9 years, went swimming, got a tan, saw fireworks, pigged out, and just generally relaxed. Not too shabby of a way to spend a few days.

Have you been anywhere new lately?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Things that I love: time away from electronics

by nyoin via Flickr
Sometimes, a step back from the computer is a great thing. More and more on these summer weekends, I find myself outside instead of planning blog posts. I intend to continue to post my 3 posts a week, but if I miss a post here or there, don't be too remiss, okay? Less to read here means more time for you to spend outside too!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Absolutely terrified

via Pinterest

"I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do." -Georgia O'Keefe

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The 2000 Things challenge: part 3

by joel_nz via Flickr
Well, boys and girls, it's time to update you all on my progress with The 2000 Things challenge. Life has continued to be very busy, but I've managed to throw things away and set things aside to give away in my spare moments. I'm still working on low hanging fruit, so some, if not most, of these things may seem painfully obvious or unexciting.

I did a sweep of things that I use that need to be replaced regularly that I haven't replaced since I moved 6 months ago- whoops. Time sure flies. I identified the following to get rid of and am now using a replacement that I already had at my disposal:

  • my kitchen sponge
  • my toothbrush
  • my razor blade
  • my Brita water filter

I mentioned briefly before that I had participated in a mud run in June and I wore old items I could just throw away afterwards. I got rid of a t-shirt, bra, and pair of underwear that way.

The rest of the items include:
  • 2 jigsaw puzzles I finally finished
  • 1 issue of a journal I receive that I used as stuffing for a package I mailed (I have a whole stack of journals to read through... hopefully they will be listed as gotten rid of soon)
  • 2 viles of salt and pepper that I put in my salt and pepper grinders
  • 1 broken salt grinder

These 13 items bring me to a grand total of 212 items gotten rid of so far. Hopefully next time I can come up with another impressive haul like I did the first time I worked on the challenge.

Monday, July 8, 2013

West coast travel goals

by susivinh via Flickr
Having lived all but the last six months of my life on the east coast, I've seen a decent amount of what the east coast has to offer. Now that I'm living on the west coast, I get to explore my new backyard. So, what am I most anxious to see? Here's the beginning of an ever growing list:

California: Yosemite, Tahoe, Los Angeles, San Diego, redwood forests. California has so much to offer and I've only seen one iota of it.

Hawaii: I've never traveled to anywhere tropical before and this seems like a great place to start. I'll probably never live closer to it than I do now, so I should probably take advantage of the relatively short and fairly reasonable flights.

Oregon: Portland especially. I've heard so much about this crazy town (thanks, Portlandia), that I just have to check it out.

Washington: Seattle especially. Another city I've heard so much about. I want to brave the cold and the rain to see what makes this place special.

Utah: I had a short layover recently in Salt Lake City and seeing the landscape flying in was mesmerizing. I want to experience this gem up close.

Alaska: Even though I hate cold weather and snow, I think seeing the rugged Alaskan terrain would be awesome. Perhaps an Alaskan cruise?

Colorado: Another beauty of a state that I'd like to visit and hike around.

Mexico: I've never been before and I feel like it would be pretty easy to wrap Mexico into a visit to southern California. I'll need a Spanish speaking companion though.

Western Canada: I've only been to Montreal before (for a mere day trip) and Canada is such a big country, I feel as though I should visit more of it to get a real feel for it.

What are your favorite places to visit on the west coast?

Friday, July 5, 2013


“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” -Albert Einstein

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Things that I love: freshly cut hair

by hckyso via Flickr
After 6 months, I finally got my hair cut last week. Man alive, did I need it. I have naturally curly hair, so if I go a little too long without a trim, my curls get really lank and droopy looking. My hair has much more body now with nice, full curls that even form corkscrews. I'm still getting used to the shorter sweepy bangs I got, so I've been preoccupied with pushing my hair out of my face and pinning up greasy looking bangs at the end of the day.

I went to a really nice salon a block away from my apartment and had a great experience. Maybe my close proximity will be a helpful push for me to better maintain my hair. Maybe.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Life happenings

by daniandgeorge via Flickr
If the beginning of July has you wondering, "where the hell did June go?!" you are not alone. This month was a whirlwind of working my ass off, fun social events, starting a new almost relationship, doing a mud run (!), and conferences. I'm currently in Chicago for a conference and am about to fall asleep on my keyboard. So, I'll keep this short and sweet and give you some of the best things I found on the internet this month (apparently I was really into travel, Harry Potter, and cats).

10 best castles in Austria. I'm pretty sure I've only been to the one in Graz.

30 amazing abandoned places.

50 best drives. I've been on parts of Route 66, Pacific Coast Highway, Alpine Road in Germany, and Blue Ridge Parkway.

23 smile inducing pictures from behind the scenes of the Harry Potter movies.

American soliders playing quidditch- whaaaat.

Some great advice from Yes and Yes about what to do when people are jerks to you.

Kitten vs. lizard

Cat + glasses= the best gif on the internet. Deal with it.

Here's to an excellent and less hectic July!