Archive | August, 2012

VACATIONVACATIONVACATION

23 Aug

Vacation. Is. Almost. HERE! At this point, my mind is on one thing: VACATION. Do I feel like doing work? NO. Do I feel like going on vacation? YES.

In less than thirty-six hours, I will be lounging on the beach with a stack of books and an ice cream cone in each hand. It’s going to be divine! Even though I haven’t been that busy at work, I’m in desperate need of a change of scenery. It’s been months since my last long weekend, and a full year since my last bona fide vacay. This has been a fun summer, but the city really starts to wear on you after a while. The heat, the crowds, the constant hustle…this lady just needs to hit the beach!

This is actually the same vacation my family has been taking for the past twenty years, so at this point we have it down to a science: We will arrive, and then spend the next week alternating from lying on a lounge chair at the beach, to lying on a lounge chair at the pool. (Obviously, we are not a family of scientists…) So basically, my goals will be thus:

1. Get tan

2. Catch up on my magazines

3. See a dolphin

It’s going to be GREAT!

A Softball Slaughter

20 Aug

Last Friday was (mercifully) the last softball game of the season. We lost. By a lot.

It was a total bloodbath actually: a horrifying 20-3! Sure, we went out to have a little fun, but our opponents had other ideas. Considering our combined weight as a team was about equal to one of their players, we were pretty unfairly matched! On top of my usual athletically-induced anxiety before these games, I was also sweating profusely after finally getting a team shirt, which is long-sleeved and apparently made of wool! After a ten-minute warm up lobbing balls as the other team whacked grand-slams just to get the blood pumping, I was already feverish from the heat. Then we found out we’d be taking the outfield first, so I scurried as far away from any base spots and settled on the left-outfield, where I figured I’d see minimal play.

This was an incorrect assumption. The first four batters smacked it straight towards me and over my head, forcing me to sprint across the field, grab the ball and then sprint back towards my other teammates, who stood watching this show with a mixture of embarrassment for me and relief it wasn’t them! This then happened three more times. Wheezing heavily, I threw the ball to my teammate for the fourth time, who effortlessly whipped it towards home base, getting someone out. Because there is a God, we got another two outs and I was saved any further humiliation…at least until I was up at bat!

My first time out, I hit a nice grounder and rushed the base just as a curve ball landed squarely in the glove. I was out. My second time up, I made it to first base, but failed to reach second after deciding my life would be at risk if I slammed into the concrete block that was the second baseman. The game continued in this manner for five innings, our well-intentioned attempts at actually getting a run falling short to their attempts at making our lives a living hell. They finally scored twenty runs, automatically ending the game. After a show of half-hearted sportsmanship, we all shook hands and went our separate ways, which meant back to work! I promptly headed for the office kitchenette and stuck my head in the freezer to cool off and hide my face from shame! Looks like those traumatic high school gym memories can be topped!

Things I Bought This Week

16 Aug

This is shaping up to be week four of, drumroll please: “Literally having nothing to do for eight solid hours a day…so I might as well just spend money on stuff.” The past couple of weeks have been slow ones, and when I have nothing better to do, I online shop. Or rather online browse, until I finally just break down and buy a bunch of stuff in one day. Yesterday was that day.

It started with a simple search for a new bathing suit for my upcoming vacation, which turned into looking for a summer dress, which spiraled into shopping for a fall dress, which led me to boots, which led me back to flip-flops for my vacation, which left me dangerously close to booking another vacation. Thankfully, sanity stepped in on that last part, but in two-to-three weeks, I’ll be receiving packages like it’s nobody’s business!

I need to find a more productive way to channel my restlessness. Last summer, I whiled away the hours on Craigslist, and at my first job, I spent the endless bouts of free time weeping in the bathroom. So I guess I’ve evolved a little bit? At least I’ll be fashionable, right? Right?! …In the mean time, I better find a part-time job to pay these bills!

The Elusive Balancing Act

13 Aug

It is a well-known personal fact that I have a bit of a hard time with the whole work-life balance thing. When it comes to focusing on my work or personal life, the chips almost always fall to the former.  It’s either all work and no life, or no work and no life! I kid (sort of…), but I do find it challenging! This morning, I saw that the founder of one of my favorite blogs, Grace Bonney of DesignSponge, was giving a radio talk on this very subject! So I listened in and killed 30 minutes of my day!

Grace basically hit the nail on the head with a lot of the things that go through my head. She said the key to becoming more balanced is realizing that not everything is going to fall apart if you’re not there, and that a career isn’t ruined by saying no to one thing or making a single mistake. That last part is a huge one for me–I pretty much spent my first few months at this job in thinly-veiled terror that every mistake I made would be the be-all and end-all. Listen, my paranoia certainly hasn’t disappeared, but thankfully it’s lessened a bit, especially after I had my ulcer removed! But living with that constant stress isn’t healthy, and as I’ve been at this job longer and have become more confident, I’m learning to let things go a little more.

The other great thing about Grace’s chat was that she suggested making some lists! There is pretty much nothing I enjoy doing more than list making…I literally sometimes put “Brush your teeth” on my post-work to-dos! But she said it’s important to have both short and long-term goals, and to realize things don’t happen overnight! My impatience sometimes makes this a hard one to grasp too–I love my lists and making these goals, but the second I slip up, I scrap the whole thing and start from square one! Rather than helping, it’s only discouraging! So basically, if I don’t brush my teeth, my entire night is ruined! As are my teeth….

The bottom line is that the point of life is to find people and things that you love, and realize how those things fit. Yes, I love my job. And yes, I work hard to do well. But I also want to have good relationships in my life and invest time in other things I enjoy! …So basically, more happy hours?!

MONDAY.

6 Aug

O Monday, you slay me.

This day did not begin on the right foot. I spent a lovely weekend in New Jersey, enjoying the great invention of air conditioning and getting slaughtered in tennis by my sister. I was at peace. I was tan. My hair looked nice. These are all things that would make me wake up on Monday morning and say, “Let’s do this, week!” But instead, I think we can all deduce what happened: NEW JERSEY TRANSIT RUINED MY VIBES. AND MY HAIR. …I’m still tan, so at least there’s that.

I had to wake up at 6:30 AM to make a bus that was LATE. Then I had to sit in a seat whose fan wasn’t working. Then my blackberry died. Then my ipod died. Then my SOUL died because just as quickly as we were motoring along the highway, we came to a complete stop…and stayed that way for a half hour. Then it was the slow, agonizing crawl through the roundabout towards the entrance of the tunnel. Then it was the claustrophobia-inducing idling inside the tunnel. And then it was the complete mayhem of getting off the bus into the crush of the ten billion other people making their way through Port Authority.

At this point, I needed to be at work in thirty minutes. Already experiencing the manic flash-backs from my commuting days, I had no time to go back to my apartment and mentally reset for my day. So to add to my already traumatic morning, I had to go into the Port Authority Bus Terminal bathroom to change my clothes and put on my makeup! Ew. Ew ew ew ew ew.

Then it was the mad-rush to work, which made me mad-sweaty, which meant my hair was mad-frizzy and I was just mad.  The only thing that alleviated my desire to mad-ly punch someone in the neck was that synchronized swimming is on today. Those ladies can kick!

The Single Floor Sigh

1 Aug

When I was in college, there was an unspoken rule that if you lived/had class between the first and third floor, you took the stairs. People who pressed three–and God-forbid two–were subject to the leering glares of exhausted students late for classes ten to fifteen floors up! As someone who lived on the third floor of my dorm, this rule obviously sucked, but climbing the stairs was way better than the passive-aggressive sighs and disgusted looks thrown my way. One especially shameful time, I snuck into an empty elevator and quickly pressed three, sweating out the crucial seconds between the closing doors, before being intercepted at the last-minute by someone in a rush to get upstairs! After an excruciating three floors with the heady weight of judgement on my shoulders, I was fully cured of my elevator-dependent ways and spent the rest of the semester huffing and puffing my way to my room!

Apparently, some of the people who work in my building did not share this traumatic yet calf-muscle-building experience, and feel no shame or remorse in taking the stairs up or even down a single flight! Many a morning I’ve come rushing into the elevator, only to have to wait as people illuminate the entire switchboard with their flat-out refusal to climb the twelve meager stairs between floors. Even worse are the people who take the elevator down a single flight! Use your legs!

But of course, there are exceptions. For example, if you are in a full body cast, taking the elevator is obviously acceptable (although probably good physical therapy to take the stairs?). And if you are Diane Sawyer, you can basically do whatever you want, which is the situation I found myself in this afternoon. After absent-mindedly entering the elevator, the bell dinged two, and I struggled to hold in the enormous sigh threatening to erupt from my lips. But my annoyance was immediately replaced by admiration, when my journalistic and life idol Diane Sawyer strolled out of the elevator with her lunch! Best elevator ride EVER!

So basically, the moral of the story is the only way it is acceptable to take the elevator a single floor is to either be covered head to toe in plaster, or to be the greatest and classiest journalist ever. Take your pick, or take the stairs!