My First Running Injury

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Well, guys, it has finally happened.  I have gotten my first running injury. 
Just kidding... that's Curt Shilling's sock.  I realize not all of you are Red Sox fans (or even know who the Red Sox are) so you might not recognize this sock but it was just sold at auction for almost $93,000.

My injury did involve a bloody sock, though.  It was just a little bit blood and it didn't even bleed through. Lame. One of my toenails (who shall henceforth be named Brutus) stabbed it's neighbor. I felt it while running but didn't think it was actually cutting my other toe. Just FYI, I do trim my toe nails on a regular basis... this one apparently just wanted to be a bully.

It may be a long and difficult recovery... but we will prevail.

Zombies, Run!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

As a general rule I do not buy apps.  I've seen how many apps I have downloaded, used a few times, and forgot about forever so I made the executive decision that I would avoid paying for apps at all costs.

I broke that rule for one very important app, though.  Zombies, Run!

Yes.  Zombies, Run.

I had heard about this app back when I was running in Dublin but at the time didn't have a smartphone.  I was looking for some good running apps the other day when I suddenly remembered it.  I was pretty disappointed when I found out that it was $7.99.  Even if I was willing to spend money on this app I was not willing to pay that much.  I sadly read the reviews thinking how much fun I would have running from zombies when I saw someone mention a half off sale!  It was destiny.  I quickly bought the app.

I have only used it once so far but it was pretty awesome.  You are a runner for this post-apocalyptic community and you have to venture out on missions for supplies. Every once in a while a pack of zombies will start chasing you and you have to run faster.  You have a 'headset' that the control people talk through so they give you instructions for your mission, etc. It is really a great way to take your mind off of the running and before you know it you're done with the run and you just want to go on another mission (or maybe that's just me).

It's kind of terrifying the first time you hear the zombie noises.  They start of quietly and get closer and closer until you're almost running away in a panic.  Of course the first time I experienced this I ran quickly around a corner just as three children came screaming down their driveway.  I almost died right there.

If you are interested in this app I would just tell you to not use it while running with a dog.  I had Mac out with me and let me just say that dogs do not care if zombies are chasing you. We got killed twice because of his overactive bladder. 

Down Time

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It is pretty quiet in the office today.  I don't know if I've had this light of a schedule since I started here almost five months ago.  I don't like it.  Normally the day flies by but today is dragging.  As stressful as the job can get, I'd much prefer that over having too much down time.

Last night was my first run in my half marathon training.  Overall, it went great.  It's funny how much less daunting 3 miles seems when I know it is going to be the shortest run I will do in the next 10 weeks.  I took my time with it since I really haven't run in months (I'm ignoring all the websites that say you should be running consistently for at least 4 weeks before starting).

I took my dog out for the first half which was tough.  When he was smaller I could kind of just drag him along during a run, but now that he's about half my body weight when he stops it's like having an anchor attached to my arm.  I'm sure watching me clothesline myself with a leash is highly amusing to all of my neighbors.

I also had to take a 2 minute break in the middle of the run to chase the dog around after he slipped out of his collar when I pulled him too close to a storm drain.

After 1.5 miles I dropped the dog off at the house since I'm actually supposed to be focusing on running.  I wouldn't say it was easy, but it definitely wasn't too hard.  We'll see how I feel at the end of the week, but I think this whole half marathon thing might actually be possible.  

Real Talk Tuesday: College

Monday, February 25, 2013

Simple Bliss

Now that I am finally done with school and am actively paying student loans, I have a lot to say about college.  I think I was both lucky and unlucky to have started before the economy crash.

I was lucky because I had two years of blissful ignorance.  Taking on large amounts of debt was the norm at the time so it was just a matter of choosing the school that offered me the most money.  Because of financial aid and scholarships I would have actually had to pay more to go to a state school so I happily went private.  I don't even think most of the kids I graduated with truly knew how much debt they were going to be facing when they got out.  We had spent our lives being told "you've got to do well in high school, go to college, and get a good job."  They left out the part about the near crippling debt.

Then the economy crashed.  The free money the school had given me for two years was gone and I suddenly realized how ridiculously expense school was.  Luckily my master's degree has put me in a position where I can aggressively pay off my loans but no one mentioned to me in high school that I would have to live with my parents for a few years because I couldn't afford to live on my own.

What is worse is that prices have only risen.  I have younger cousins who are either just starting college or beginning the search and I have had a very hard time telling them to go private because at this point I honestly I just don't know if it is worth it.

Did I enjoy myself for four years? Absolutely.  Do I think it was worth $120,000*? Definitely not! I got a degree in history... I loved every minute of it but I wish someone had told me how much better off I would be with degree in business or engineering. To be fair my mom told me pretty much every day to become an engineer and I didn't listen.

I don't know if it's just because I am older now or if it's because of the wake up call of the economy crash but I just do not think I can value a college education the way I did before.  I think many people can become highly successful without a degree and others need several degrees to obtain their dream jobs.  I just wish there was more education about different options BEFORE starting college so that we weren't already predicting the country's next bubble burst.

*Thank god this is not the amount I owe!

Sorry for the rant on that one!  Tell us what your views are on college and higher education! Dont forget to link up below and add the button to your page!

Day One

I was pretty sure that when I woke up this morning I was going to say to myself, "what the heck are you thinking signing up for a half marathon?"  Instead, I felt excited.  Feeling excited is exciting in itself.  I'm just a big cyclical ball of excitement and it's 9 am on a Monday.  (There is a slight possibility that I'm actually just delirious from staying up to watch the Oscars last night).

A big part of the excitement is that I know, for the next 10 weeks, training and preparing myself will be my main focus.  As I've mentioned in the past, if I don't regularly occupy all of my free time, I go a little crazy.  I need to stop thinking about moving because right now it is simply not an option.  I crunched the numbers and if I attempted to rent on my own in the cheapest place possible, I would either have to lower the amount I am paying on my loans, or I would have to live with about $30 a month for food and utilities... aka- not possible.  It is not the situation I want to be in, but if I can keep my mind off it I should be ok.

Just to insure that I was not going to run out and buy a house (ha) I paid off two of my student loans yesterday.  I think I'm going to save loans for the focus of a post in the future, but between Saturday and Sunday I paid off 12% of my loans and have, aside for a small emergency fund, made myself broke.  I figured that I could leave the money sitting in my bank account to earn .5% interest but that would cost me about 6% interest by not putting it towards my loans.  I still have a long road ahead of me in paying them off but it felt wonderful knowing that I made a pretty big dent.

Because I only have 10 weeks to train for this race I have to start today.  This is what my neighborhood looks like right now.  Lets hope for a warm day and a fast melt so I can hit the road tonight!

Up Next!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Thank you all for your kind words yesterday.   It was very hard for me to write all that down and even harder to publish it, but you have all helped me to see that I've reached the point where there is no easy solution and I have to think about what is best for me.  I truly appreciate all of your support!

On a much brighter note, I've decided to sign up for a half marathon!  This was really just a spur of the moment idea and I hope I won't regret it later but I really need to set goals for myself and I've found myself slacking in all departments.  I didn't love my 5k back in September but I have always been more of a distance/endurance person so I actually thing I will enjoy the half more.

I've convinced a friend to train and run with me so even if we do terrible we will at least do terrible together!  Because of tight scheduling in May we've decided to do the Twin Lights Half Marathon in Gloucester, MA on May 5.  Yes, this is only 10 weeks away.  I would prefer to follow a 12 week training program, but I've also seen enough 10 week programs that I don't think it's a completely outrageous idea.  Again, we'll see how I feel in a few weeks!

A Tough Situation

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I have a topic that I have never really touched upon on this blog because it's pretty personal and, as many bloggers know, you can write about everything you do in a day, and yet still leave out a lot.  I'm still not even sure if I'll publish this post, but sometimes I just need to write down my thoughts.  I also have hopes that someone out there will be able to commiserate with me and maybe even be able to give some advice.

So my situation, which I have alluded to in previous posts as "the reason I need to get out of my house asap" is a very difficult family member.  A sister to be exact.  She was developmentally delayed as a child and struggled with learning and speech.  She is fine now, but because of the difficulties as a child she developed some pretty intense anger problems which have affected my entire family for many years.  She is now 22 and has a baby and I had high hopes that she would turn her life around and control her moods a little more.  If anything they have gotten worse.  She refuses to take no for an answer and will throw fits to the point where I truly begin worrying about everyone's safety (my dad had some heart problems a few years back and I know that this is not helping him).

My parents have been saints through all of this and have supported her no matter how much I'm sure they would like to do otherwise, but I'm afraid we've reached the point where they are simply enabling her to get worse.  She doesn't take care of herself the way she should and of course we are concerned for the baby, too.  (I know she does care about and care for the baby but we know that there is always more that could be done to make the baby's life even better).  She recently lost her job and now has to borrow my mom's car (not to find a new job, but to hang out with her friends).  When my mom says no it instantly turns into one of the aforementioned fits.  She will take the car and not answer her phone for days, miss appointments for herself and the baby (we are trying to get both of them help), and when we finally do get in touch with her she acts like we are trying to ruin her life.  In her eyes, my parents are always to blame for her problems and they never get any appreciation for what they give her (which is basically everything).

We have all tried talking to her on many different occasions but she refuses to see the problem the way we see it.  I am the "princess" because I did well in school and "got all the attention".  It's funny because all of my memories of childhood are her throwing fits and everyone in my family focusing on her 24/7.  She won't listen to me.  She won't listen to my parents.  She won't listen to anyone.

It has become almost unbearable for me to continue watching her act this way.  I cannot stand the way she treats my family and I've reached the point where I just have to move out to remove myself from the situation but I know that this will not make the situation any better.  It's not fair that my parents are stuck in it.

I feel like the only thing we can do now is simply cut her off.  She takes, and takes, and takes, and then gets mad when we don't give more.  She is getting worse and I honestly do not think there is anything we can do to help her now but stop giving in once and for all.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a very fine and delicate line here.  I (and my parents) are afraid of what will happen once we do cut her off.  I honestly do not like thinking about it because it makes me sick. But at the same time, will any good from the situation we are in now?  I don't believe any will.

Coincidentally, this is my horoscope for today:

I guess that by making this public I'm attempting to consider what to do next and ensure that I'm dealing with this with an open mind. 

So, blogging community, have any of you ever been in a situation like this?  I know every person is different, but the stress and pain everyone in my family has been feeling for a few year is not healthy and I simply do not know how to fix this.  

A Week of Reviews and My First Business Trip!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

This past week I had my first performance review.  Even though I had been repeatedly told I was doing a good job, I couldn't help but be nervous.  The past few months have been such a learning experience for me.  I feel like I am constantly on the verge of screwing up but I've managed to pull through each time and apparently no one has noticed the terrified look I often have on my face.

Our department's quarterly review, which was today, also went great.  Everyone has worked hard and management only had good things to say to us all.  It makes me really appreciate the opportunity I got to work with this company.  It is a world of difference from my last job where fear and intimidation were the norm.

After all the positive talk in the reviews my other manager came over and asked if I wanted to take a trip down to Washington, D.C.!  I probably got a little too excited.  I will only be going for two days and I will be working for most of that time but this will be my first ever business trip.  I feel like such a real person.  It will definitely be a new type of "wandering" for me.

We have a few offices down there with people that I work with on a daily basis but I have never seen in person.  I have ideas in my head of what I think everyone looks like and I'm worried this is going to be like when the first cast images of the Harry Potter kids were released and I was furious that they looked nothing like what I imagined.  Especially for my one coworker that I picture to have a big curly afro.

Probably not what my coworkers look like.
Anyway, that is not for a few weeks.  I still have another large snow storm to get through before I can even start looking forward to that!

Why I Will Never Call My Dog My Furbaby

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Don’t get me wrong- I have nothing against pet names for pets.  I probably only call Mac by his given name 1 out of 10 times.  He has gotten pretty good at answering to Macaroni, Macaroon, MacAttack, Mr. Bates, Pup… the list could on.

I even find it cute when older people talk about their “granddogs”.  My parents told me they will only call Mac their granddog once we get our lazy butts out of their house.

No, I do not have a problem with calling pets funny names, I just cringe when I hear the word "furbaby."  If you call your pets this or if you ever plan to, I would stop reading here.  I'm not worried about offending you, I'm more worried about disgusting you and ruining the word for you forever.

Have you ever heard of a Teratoma?  That is what I think of when I hear "furbaby".  If you want an in depth (and truly disgusting) explanation you can go here, but it is basically a growth or a tumor that can often times contain hair, teeth, bones, and even eyeballs and organs.  They can grow in any part of your body and they can even appear to look like a fetus (a hairy teeth-filled fetus).  Essentially, in my mind, they are a furbabies.  Nothing cute or playful about that.  At all.  In fact just thinking about it I want to throw up.  

Showed Mac a picture of a teratoma.  He is not amused. 
So don't worry, I won't judge you for calling your pets furbabies. Just be aware that before I think of your playful puppy or cuddly cat, I will be picturing a growing ball of rouge hair and teeth... a teratoma.  Shudder. 

Real Talk Tuesday: Healthy Living

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Simple Bliss

If you haven't heard of Sally Gordon you should go check her story out.  She knows what it's all about.   Health, to the people who really get it, is not about what the scales says on any given day, it's about life long habits that, when combined, all work to enhance, extend, and better your life.  I don't think of health as dropping a few sizes for bathing suit season; I think of it as me in 80 years being kickass and awesome.

While there is always more that I could do to better my health,  there are a few things I regularly do in an attempt to make myself just a little bit healthier each day.
  • I always choose water.  Other than my morning cup of oj and black coffee, it is always water for me.  I'll obviously indulge in occasional adult beverage but other than that water is just a better option.
  • Portion control.  This is definitely the hardest for me.  I was raised to always finish my meals but now-a-days the size of a meal is generally much larger than it should be.  I will often try to chose pre-portioned meals if possible.  I have a packet of oatmeal every morning, a SmartOnes Weight Watcher meal for lunch every day, and if I'm ever eating a snack like popcorn or chips, I put it into a cup instead of eating directly from the bag.
  • Daily walks with the pup.  As much as I used to struggle getting up and out to go for a run by myself,  I have not trouble going out for walks with the pup before the sun is up and in some pretty rough conditions.  There is just more motivation when I know we are both getting something out of it.  I wouldn't suggest going out and getting a dog just to increase your exercise, but it definitely worked for me!
  • I don't deprive myself of anything.  I think I'm one of the few people in the world who doesn't love chocolate but I have that same weakness for ice cream.  And if my body is telling me it needs ice cream, I'm going to listen.  I don't know if other people are the same way but if I tell myself I can't have something, I only want it more.  I'm better off just having a small portion than holding off only to binge later.
  • I don't get down when I fall off the wagon.  Everyone has good days and bad and I think it's so important to always remember that.  When I have bad day I just look forward to the next day instead of getting down or giving up. Returning from both Russian and Ireland I was at my heaviest but some of the best memories I have from Ireland involve a few pints of Guinness and some late night cheese fries. I wouldn't change that for anything.  Now that I'm back home, I don't feel the need to cut out all carbs or crash diet because I know getting back on track with my healthier habits will slowly help me get back to where I want to be.
So, tell us what you do to stay healthy!  Kayla and I are both taking part in Erica's DietBet, which is just a fun and new way to motivate ourself to keep up with the good habits and work on getting some of the not so good habits out of our lives.

Snowed In Again

Sunday, February 17, 2013

More snow today.  It has barely accumulated because of strong winds but it is just enough to make me not want to leave the house.  My parents went down to Florida for the week and the sisters are off doing their thing so it has just been me and the dog these past two days.  Glorious.

Instead of going out, I've revamp the blog... again.  I decided it was time to get some warmth and bright colors on the blog.  I'm attempting to summon summer.  It's obviously not working.

I've had a very productive day (so much more productive than when there are a dozen people running around my house) and I don't have work tomorrow (thank you Presidents!) so I'm just going to enjoying my evening with my pup and a glass (or two) of wine.

I hope you have all had a good weekend!

Diet Bet

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I'm not big on dieting.  I fully believe that eating right and exercising is the key to a healthy weight (duh!).  Unfortunately, I don't always eat right and I definitely don't always exercise.  My problem is generally motivation.  I would much rather read a book or watch a good tv show than trek to a gym or go out for a run in the middle of winter.

Erica House is a blogger I've been following for a while.  I'd suggest you go check out her blog if you're looking for some inspiration because she seems to have turned her health (and maybe her life!) around completely.  She is running a program through a website called DietBet.  I hadn't heard of it before her most recent blog post but I have to say I was intrigued.  You can check out her explanation here, but basically it is a bet you make.  $20 in at the start, and after a month if you've lost 4% of your body weight you split the pot with all those who hit the 4% mark.  Which means if you lose the 4%, you get your $20 back plus some.
Some of the things I like about this:

  • Who doesn't like wagering a little money now and then?
  • Who isn't more motivated when their money is on the line?
  • The bet lasts for a month which is a completely reasonable timeframe to maintain some healthier eating and some increased exercise (though obviously the greater goal is to continue beyond that!)
  • 4% is a completely reasonable number to lose in a month.  It won't require anything drastic, but it would make enough of an impact that I would be pretty happy

    And most importantly,
  • Bathing suit season is quickly approaching and I haven't been on a beach in almost two years!
Anyway, the bet starts on Monday so if you're interested go check it out.  I think it sounds pretty cool.  Plus, if you lose I get your money!

My Dog Is A Weirdo

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My dog is strange.  I really do love him, but it's hard to ignore his quirks.  I generally take him for a walk every morning before work and every afternoon when I get home.  He was always afraid of storm drains (understandable), but he was also petrified of puddles, my driveway, cars, the mailman, mailboxes, and low hanging branches.  I thought he had gotten over most of these fears but then Nemo hit.

After the storm sidewalks were obviously covered with a few feet of snow and there wasn't much room to avoid puddles and the occasional ice patch. Each time I've tried to take him out he has freaked out, leaped into the nearest snow bank, and refused to move.  I've tried dragging him, coaxing him with treats, and have even tried tricking him.  

I will admit that I'm a little hurt.  I think a fear of ice, mysterious puddles, and storm drains is healthy.  I do not think, however, that his debilitating fear that I will be the one to drag him into a puddle or push him down a storm drain is all that healthy.  This is was I get for dragging him to the vet to de-man him, I guess.

Finally tonight, six attempted walks since Nemo, we managed to make it around the block.  It was still a struggle but he only lept into the snow bank a few times and I think that was just because it looked more fun than walking on the road. 

But Mom, you told me to always use the side walk! 
He apparently can't see the 12 feet of dry road
Chaos after the struggle 
Not the driveway!!
Luckily, after a long battle on the roads he can still sit down and fully enjoy the Westminster Dog Show.  


Do your pets have any weird quirks?  I know I'm not alone!!

Real Talk Tuesday: Living Circumstances

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hey, everyone!  I'm linking up with my cousin Kayla's not-quite-yet-a-linkup Real Talk Tuesdays. Today she is talking about Living Circumstances.  I thought this was a perfect topic for me since, lately, it's really all I've been thinking about.
Simple Bliss

After living in a pretty spacious apartment in the center of Dublin city, I'm now back to my tiny childhood bedroom... which I now share with a rapidly growing dog.  I share the rest of the house with my parents and two younger sisters and my niece.  Needless to say, it is pretty much always crowded and noisy.

I can't deny that it's awesome to not have to pay for my own water, heat, cable, and internet. And the regular home cooked meals are wonderful, but I think the whole situation is starting to take a toll on my sanity.  Ironically it's not even the baby and the dog that are the hardest to live with. I have too much stuff in too small a place shared with too many people.

I will continue to value the time I have at home (and the money I'm saving!) but after six months, it is definitely time to start looking forward to my next living location.

Light At The End of The Tunnel

Saturday, February 9, 2013

We've made it through the storm!  Even though I decided to work from home, the storm didn't really get started until late.  The blizzard warning started at 1pm though and they banned vehicles from the road at 4pm. Even if it didn't look too bad out I'm glad I didn't try getting into work.

There was only a few inches on the groung by the time I went to bed but it was amazing what I woke up to.  We've had several feet on snow on the ground in years past, but it generally was the combination of a few storms over a longer period of time.  This literally all just fell over night.

I spent the night barbecuing, eating junk food, drinking wine, and playing cards with the family.  It's funny how well we all get along when we know we can't legally drive away from each other.

Mac told me he wanted to be an internet star so I helped him make this gif.

Today involved a lot of shoveling and snow blowing. The driving ban didn't lift until 4pm and I've heard the roads are still not in great shape so I'll probably continue to stay hunkered down enjoying two days of pj time.

I hope you all survived the storm, too!

Working From Home

Friday, February 8, 2013

Pretty much everyone in my department decided yesterday that we would all work from home today so of course I wasn't going to argue otherwise.  Who doesn't want to work in the their pjs?

I woke up this morning thinking, "ooh I can even write a post about how awesome working from home is!" As it hits 4:00, however, I've decided that it's definitely not all it's cracked up to be.

I always feel like I could get my work done a lot quicker if the goal was to just get it done as soon as possible.  I generally don't have a problem filling a 9 hour work day in the office, however I know there are certain tasks that could be done quicker.  Working from home allows me to spend half the time getting the same work done, and leaves me with plenty of time for other tasks.  I managed to have some play time with the pup, do two weeks worth of laundry, vacuum  and take a shower in the middle of the day... all while getting my normal work load completed.

Realistically though this probably just means I'm spending the same amount of time on the work because of the constant distractions.   We currently have seven people in the house and a crazy puppy.  I have probably only put in about 4 hours of work even though I've been logged into my work computer for about 8 hours now.  Chances are I'll end up doing some more work tomorrow to make up for the time I've wasted today.

So, while I think working from home would allow me to get my work done in less time,  I don't think that counts for snow days when there is a hoard of people hopped up on hot coco running around my house.

How do you feel about working from home?  Is it better or worse than working from an office?
Mac's ready to be snowed in!

Bring on the Snow!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Well if you haven't heard you must be living under a rock... and if you're living under a rock in New England you better start relocating now.  We're getting a storm.  It seems like it might be a serious one at that.  I know we generally hype this stuff up and then nothing comes of it, but now I feel like because we assume we're hyping it up we actually going to get hit hard... it's reverse -reverse psychology. 
Look at how serious Al is.
I'm currently in the 18-24 range with chances of up to 3 feet.

That little red dot is me, just in case anyone wants to
come hang out during the storm.

I'm excited.  I know we may lose power and I'm sure there will be damage but I will not pretend I'm not excited. We're definitely in the quiet before the storm right now.  It looks beautiful out.  It's also extremely quiet at work, hence the blogging during the day. 

I'm supposed to drive up to Concord, NH tomorrow to see an old friend in his national tour of A Chorus Line, however my expectations of actually making it there are dropping.  From what I've heard, it's unlikely that they will cancel but the drive is about 50 minutes on a good day and I just don't think it will be possible with two feet of snow and severe wind gusts.

Well, I've just finished the lamest salad ever so I'm off the the cafe to buy cookies or something. 

Any one else out there prepping for the storm?

Liebster Award from Anie

I really wanted to write something today but no matter how hard I tried to think of a topic I came up short.  Then I remembered that I was nominated for  Liebster Award months ago!  I am a terrible person for taking forever to do this, and an even more terrible person for not thanking Anie over at 14sixty for the nomination!

Here are the questions she gave me:

  1.  If you could visit anywhere in the world where would it be?
    I would really love to go to any part of Asia.  I feel like the culture and lifestyle is so different there that it would be fascinating! I think spending a few days in a city in India or China would be awesome but then I would have to travel to a jungle location to decompress.
  2. What would be your dream job?
    Oh, this is tough.  There are so many things I love to do but if I could create a job that involved traveling, playing with animals, and eating lots of different food (without getting fat) I think I would be in heaven.
  3. What is an item that you couldn't live without?
    This is pretty lame but I would really struggle without my computer or smartphone. I'm sure there are much more substantial things that I wouldn't want to live without but my computer really is crucial to my everyday comfort.
  4. If you could only share one piece of advice, what would it be?Travel.  I think you learn so much about yourself when you travel, whether it is by yourself, in a large group, or with just a few friends.  Every trip is unique and I truly believe that my traveling has had more impact on my life than anything else.
  5. Are there certain things that you will not write about on your blog? What is it?Certain family things I tend to shy away from.  Some of those things I just don't feel comfortable having the whole world reading about (because the whole world reads my blog, of course!).
  6. What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?
    I'm sure I have some pretty horrific moment that I could share but the first one that comes to mind is once when I was younger I went to the beach with my family and when I went to take my t-shirt off, I accidentally grabbed my bathing suit top and ripped that off, too.  Extremely awkward for myself and everyone at the beach.
  7. If you could only use one form of make up what would it be? (eye liner, mascara, foundation, etc.)
    I think mascara makes the most difference for my face so I would stick with that if everything else was taken away.
  8. Why did you start blogging?
    I started blogging to document a few trips that I was going to be taking in a short period of time.  I thought it would be a good way to keep my family in the loop while also allowing me to look back and remember the events without have to dig up an old journal.
  9. What are you hoping to achieve from your blog?
    I don't really have any goals for the blog other than to keep documenting my travels and, when life gets boring, document some of that stuff, too.  I'm always surprised when I realized other people actually read this but it's always a happy bonus!
  10. Would you rather stay up late, or wake up early?
    I definitely would consider myself a night owl but since I've started working full time again I've gotten used to being up at 6 and in bed at 10.  I do love how productive I am on the weekends when I get up early.
  11. What is your proudest moment?
    I've been thinking about this one for a few minutes now and I really can't think of any one moment that I would say I am most proud of.  That either makes me pretty lame or I just have too many good moments to choose from.  I'll go with the second option!

To Rent or To Buy?

Monday, February 4, 2013

When I came home from Dublin I had this master plan of living at home for two years while working, paying off loans, and saving money for a down payment.  I've been home for five months now and I'm finding it harder to believe that I'll be able to stay here for another year and a half.  My parents are wonderful and would have no problem letting me stay but for other reasons I feel like I need to speed up my timeframe.

The problem with this is 1.) I haven't saved much for a down payment 2.) at this point I don't know what / where I would want to buy something even if I could and 3.) I have a small fear of commitment.

Even if I did have enough money for a down payment, I am so torn as to what and where I would want to buy.  My plan for some time had been to buy a two family home and have an income property.  This would generally mean a more expensive property and having to deal with tenants.  I could also do a small single family home however even that might be too much space for me at this point. Then there would be the whole condo route. I don't know how I feel about HOA fees.  I also have a huge fear that if I did buy something, I would realize I hated it or I would lose my job and be unable to pay for it.  Recession scars.  I think those are pretty legitimate fears though so I'm not ignoring them.

My other option is to rent.  Knowing my own track record, I don't stay in one place for long so realistically this is my best option.  I just hate the idea of paying month after month and gain nothing from it except a place to stay.

So I'm torn.  I don't think  I can stay at home much longer so it's matter of deciding if I really want to buckle down and save quickly to buy something, or start looking into renting again and accept the fact that my saving and loan payments will get smaller.

If anyone out there has experience with this dilemma I'd love to hear how you handled it!


An Ode to My Macs

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Well, the MacBook went to the Apple doctor the other day and I got the bad news.  Although the computer was still running fine, the screen's backlight no longer worked.  They weren't sure if it was the monitor itself or just the cable connecting the monitor to the computer, but it was going to take some effort and money to fix.  As much as I hated the idea of not just fixing the problem so it would work again, I also decided that it was time to move on.  That computer had lasted me almost seven years and while I could probably get another year or two out of it, I figured I could use an upgrade.

I spent a long time debating on what I should do.  I don't know if I've ever mentioned it on the blog, but I've been a Mac user all my life.  From my 1993 Macintosh Performa to my newly departed 2006 MacBook, I have exclusively owned Macs.  Owning one today doesn't distinguish me much, but owning one in 1997 made me a rare breed.  There were times as I kid when I was mad that a lot of computer games didn't work on my computer, but now they are pretty much standard anywhere outside of businesses.

As proud as I have alway been of being a Mac girl, I had a big decision to make.  Now that I am working full time and raising a rambunctious puppy, I am lucky if I use my own computer an hour a day.  It's not like back in college when I was on it for several hours a day and had to insure that no papers I was working on would get lost the night before they were due.

This means I could go out and spend $1200 on a new Mac, or I could spend a few hundred and get a (gasp!) PC.  The fact that I even considered this for a while shocked many of my friends and family.  I was actually told flat out that I was NOT allowed to buy a PC.  As one friend said, "it's just not right."

20 Years of Macs
So, after a week of deliberating I headed to the Apple store.  I had finally decided to buy the MacBook Pro however I was talked into the MacBook Air instead.  I'm happy.  I may have spent more money than I really wanted to but I didn't cause any rifts in the universe.  Also, coming from my computer that was recently called an antique, I feel like I've upgraded to a piece of advanced alien technology.  This computer is so light, quiet, and cool (my old Mac seemed to have a life mission of giving me second degree burns).
Welcome to the Family!

Considering my last Mac survived undergrad, grad school, and life in three countries I think I can depend on the Air to last me a while.  It's interesting to think about where I might be in another six year when I might be buying my next one!