Aug 31, 2015

We're Hitched!

Like most of my posts, I'm scheduling this ahead of time, so there's an element of guesswork here, but I'm probably married now.  Unless Ryan or I randomly decided to get cold feet.  Although, that would be pretty problematic since we already handled the legal stuff.

In any case, I won't be around much this week (elopement details when I get back), but I thought I'd share my vows since I've already said them and don't have to keep them secret anymore.  You know, just in case you didn't have enough with my last sappy post about Ryan.

Brace yourselves!  As in everything I do, brevity is entirely lacking.

The Vows

"I like us. I mean, I like you and I love you, and that’s very important. But I think it’s even more important that I like us together, as a whole. You’ve said a few times that I help you to be a better person and I almost find it hard to believe. How could I be helping you, when you’re helping me so much?

You can always tell when I’m upset, and if there’s a way to fix it, you’ll find it. But when I don’t want things fixed, you’re willing to just listen (and that usually fixes things anyway). You’ve helped me immensely with learning to handle my emotions in a more gracious way and to get better about communicating my feelings to you.

Aug 27, 2015

The Many Personalities of Moi

I took a quiz called Which Muppet are You?, in the hopes that I'd get Miss Piggy and then I could make a joke with the title of this post.  Instead I got a "snowth," which I've never heard of and realized I was wasting far too much time and effort on a joke that wasn't terribly important to this post.

Point is: I love personality tests.  And I love having little, mini existential crises about my analysis of the results.  But that's not terribly fun for everyone else.  So I'm condensing it all to this one post, in the hopes that I'll get it out of my system and be done with it.

Without further ado, my complete psychological, aptitudinal, and fantastical profile... (with links if you guys want to take the tests, too)

Myers Briggs Personality Test: INFJ - The Protector

In the past I've gotten ENFJ, but this one feels more like me and was my most recent result, so I'm going to go with it.  (explanation of types here)
  • Introversion over Extraversion (12%)
  • Intuition over Sensing (9%)
  • Feeling over Thinking (16%)
  • Judging over Perceiving (6%)
Quietly forceful, original, and sensitive. Tend to stick to things until they are done. Extremely intuitive about people, and concerned for their feelings. Well-developed value systems which they strictly adhere to. Well-respected for their perserverence in doing the right thing. Likely to be individualistic, rather than leading or following.

Aug 26, 2015

Busy, Can't, and Other Words I Hate

Patience is a virtue I've been entirely lacking in lately.  And while there are a lot of things trying my nerves (that I may or may not be responding graciously to), I particularly want to discuss the whole "busy" thing.

I'm fed up with it.  Not with being busy, but with using busy as an excuse.

News flash!  EVERYONE is busy.  You're not special.  Your busy-ness is not more important than everyone else's busyness.

If someone asks you... (note: I'm using the general "you" here, not referring to you lovely readers who are some of my favorite people and probably never do this shit).  Anyway, if someone asks you to do something for them, you have a couple of options.

You can say, "Oh, sorry, I'm too busy" which is really just the polite way of saying they're a lower priority than whatever else you're doing.  Not that there's anything wrong with that!  Not everything can have equal priority and you're not obligated to put someone else first before your own ambitions or comfort.

You can say, "Sure thing!" and do it promptly.

Or you can say, "Ok" and then drag your ass and never get around to it or do it at the last possible second.

This last one pisses me off.  Unless the thing takes up a substantial amount of your time, there's no reason to keep putting it off.  Yes, you're "busy."  But you know what?  Taking the 5 minutes to do the thing will get it off your to do list, make someone else happy, and add +5 to your integrity for actually following through with something you said you'd do.  And if you're like the majority of our population, you're never going to be less busy so putting it off accomplishes nothing.

If you really don't have time for it/are unwilling to make time for it, then just say no in the first place.  It'll save everyone time and aggravation and if your friend is a good friend, they'll understand you have other priorities.

Let's talk about people who are not busy.

Aug 25, 2015

My 10 Most-Read Authors

I'm stealing this idea from Megan because it's fun and Goodreads very obligingly shows you your list of most read authors and some of the contenders surprised me.  As in, "Holy crap, why did I read 35 books by that guy?!"

Because I'm dramatic (and embarrassed of my most-read book genre), I'm going to go in reverse order.

10) Brandon Sanderson - 6 Books

This number will be going up as the Stormlight Archive continues to come out and also because once I was finally convinced to try his other series, I realized Sanderson is all-around awesome and all his books are good.  (If not quite as good.  I mean, The Way of Kings!!!)

9) Kurt Vonnegut - 7 Books

I went through a Vonnegut phase after my mom told me he was one of her favorite authors in high school.  I've lost some of my love for Vonnegut with recent reads, but Slaughterhouse Five will always be one of my favorites and Harrison Bergeron is in my list of books that have impacted me the most.

7 & 8) A Tie Between Eoin Colfer and C.S. Lewis - 8 Books

This is somewhat fitting, as they're both authors of the young adult genre.  Eoin Colfer wrote the Artemis Fowl Series, which is a super fun read even as an adult, and C.S. Lewis is, of course, the talent behind The Chronicles of Narnia.  (Whose religious themes I didn't even notice as a teenager - have I mentioned I'm not good at literary analysis?)

Aug 19, 2015

Dating - an Astrological Overview

I'm a huge skeptic.  I think I've made it clear that my beliefs are limited to what I can see, learn from a reliable source, and that make sense in the logical world as I know it.  It's not the most exciting or magical way to live, but that's how my brain works.

So it may come as a surprise that I love Astrology.  Do I believe it?  No.  Or, mostly not.  But there is a teeny, tiny piece of my brain that says, "You know, maybe...."  And let's face it, that piece of my brain is the most fun one, so I roll with it.

Horoscopes have always seemed kind of bogus to me, but my astrological sign?  Oh yeah, I'm a Cancer through and through.  Off the top of my head, Cancerian traits that fit me to a tee: I'm moody, emotional, and nurturing.  After some research (from the surely super reliable Ganesha Speaks) I'll add: indecisive, intuitive, sympathetic, and strong.  Fear of rejection by loved ones and prone to being hurt easily.

I think it's the negatives that I really, really relate to.  Maybe that's just me being too quick to dismiss my virtues, but I've always thought I fit the "cranky crab" profile of the typical Cancer.  And while I might blow off the opinion of someone who's not important to me, or even to step away from a friendship that's fading, the people that I really, really care about have immense power to hurt me.  I value their opinions far more highly than my own, and it takes a long time for those emotional wounds to heal.  On a more positive note, I think being hurt easily and feeling what is perhaps an excess of emotion allows me to tune into how other people feel, why they might do what they do, and really empathize.  I'm quick to anger (and every other emotion) but I work my butt off to get that under control because I don't want to be responsible for hurting people the way I hurt when someone crushes me.

I was so blown away by how well the Cancer profile fit that I even included the crab claws from the astrological symbol in my tattoo.

Just my outer thigh, nothing naughty

There was one book in particular that seemed to be an accurate reflection of, not just myself, but the others in my life.  It's a dating book, called The Everything Sex Signs Book: Astrology Between the Sheets.  Yeah, it's a little dirty.  But, despite the title, most of the book is about the relationships between different astrological signs and how they relate to each other.  And it has been spot on for every long term relationship I've ever been in.

Since you're obviously dying to know, let's discuss my entire relationship history!

Aug 18, 2015

Sunday Sweats (and a Sneaky Weekend Recap)

I wasn't planning on doing Sunday Sweats at all for last week because I did almost nothing.  But then I went to my half marathon and actually ran (and walked) it and I had to report that!!!

Here's to my first 13.1 mile race (finished just 7 minutes under the time limit) and 2 PRs in 2 weeks! (anything's a PR the first time you do it!)

Now for the weekend stuff.  I'm going to gush because I've been feeling a bit down at the lack of wedding excitement in my life (Remember how I talked about the pros of eloping?  Yeah, there are cons, too.  A full report on that once we've gotten all the way through it), and my sisters took that feeling and smashed it into the dust.

I got to San Francisco not expecting much of anything, other than some sister time and a race (although the flight was pretty fantastic in and of itself).  But they pulled up to the curb at the airport with a car full of gear, we posed for the requisite photos and then sped off for a night of sushi, fancy desserts, and sisterly fun.

Aug 17, 2015

Friendship For Sale - Going Once, Twice...

Making friends is hard.  You know it's bad when you're reading some article or self help book and nodding in fascination at such enlightening suggestions as "make eye contact" and "smile at people."  Because it should all be common sense!  If I'm nice to people, they'll be nice to me.

But it's all starting to seem like so much work.  The Meetup groups, the friend dating website, agonizing over the best way to get in touch with that friendly seeming person from that party without coming across like a weirdo.

And when you do start to make friends with someone, what then?!  You have to keep hanging out with them until you know each other well enough that your friendship can make it through a quiet month or two.  And that just takes too long.

My ideal friend would love the "getting to know you" phase.  We'd sit and talk for hours over what was supposed to be a happy hour or an art night and discuss our hopes and dreams and know everything about each other after hanging out once or twice.

My ideal friend would come up with alternate suggestions when she had to turn down my activity suggestions.  And she'd be ok with only talking a couple times a week and only seeing each other a couple times a month.

Aug 13, 2015

Don't Nobody Want These Genes

I had a goal for a while.  It was an excellent goal because it combined altruism with financial gain.  How can you make money but still feel like you're helping someone?

Egg donation.

This is something I only learned about a couple years ago.  Many fertility clinics have egg donation programs, and the payout is anywhere from $1,000 to $8,000, depending where you live.  Of course, there are some limitations: you must have a BMI in the "healthy range," be aged 18 - 30, and be overall healthy with a good family history.

Being as healthy as anyone I know, I figured my biggest hurdle would be the BMI thing.  So I waited a couple years to see if I'd get it together enough to lose some weight.  I didn't, of course.  Or at least not until recently.  I have lost some since cutting back sugar, but it's been a pretty slow process.

So this year I thought, "Well, I'm getting close to 30 and I'm getting married soon and might want to do things that interfere with my eligibility (like be pregnant).  So I'll see if they'll take me now despite the BMI."

Aug 11, 2015

Show Us Your Books - July Reads

I've been crummy at keeping up with book challenges, lately.  Instead I kind of dove into the self help topics that I most want to work on right now: self love, body acceptance, and all things business.  And there's a few fun ones, too.

My last couple reads were incredible that I'm going to go in reverse order so I can talk about them first.


Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin... Every Inch of It 

I recently discovered Brittany Gibbons' blog and I was intrigued by how thoroughly she owns her size. She's so completely confident and non-apologetic, so I decided to try out her book. It's actually quite a bit different than what I was expecting, but that was no bad thing. (I'm copying the rest of this from Goodreads - sorry if you've already seen it.)

The first half of the book is pretty memoir-y, her background, life, and generally how being overweight has affected her (along with some family stuff). I'd finally settled in for nothing more than an interesting story (her personality makes it all really fun to read and she goes through some bizarre shit) when it turned around and boom! All that background started to come into play as she began the journey to loving herself and teaching others about body acceptance. There are some fantastic concepts in here - I was truly touched when she mentioned the pivotal point in her journey: noticing how her young daughter was mimicking her actions and realizing she couldn't teach self love if she wasn't practicing it herself. I also loved how concepts aren't lectured or forced upon you - it's all a little more subtle.

Aug 10, 2015

Sunday Sweats - PRs and Awesome Shirts

Sunday Sweats Theme Inspired by Holly

I'm doing a selfie-a-day project inspired by the book I'm reading, Radical Self Love, and this was Thursday's picture.  Howe awesome is it that my "Lift Like a Girl" t-shirt arrived the day after I hit my longtime goal of squatting my bodyweight?!

Anyway, here's the workouts...

Weekly Workouts

Monday - Strength Training | DTT: 30 Min

Bench.  I attempted 95 pounds (a PR), but I only got 2 unassisted and 3 more with my dad helping, so I'm not sure I can count this.  Next time!

Tuesday - Strength Training | DTT: 30 Min

Tired today and not sure why.  I went ahead and did a lighter arm workout with dumbbell curls and tris.  Stomach started hurting in the afternoon and by the time I got home I was ready to sleep.  On the plus side, 10.5 hours of sleep never hurt anyone!

Wednesday - Strength Training, Biking | DTT: 90 Min

SQUATTED MY BODYWEIGHT!!!  This has been my goal since about the beginning of this year, so this is pretty damn exciting.  And actually, full disclosure here, I squatted a bit more since I did my heaviest weight ever - 205 lbs - and my current weight is 187.  Now if I could just get my bench up to even half my bodyweight... :P

I had trouble getting started after work, but finally hopped on the stationary bike for a solid hour of biking.  And then was so inspired that I had to clean and rearrange things instead of go to bed a reasonable hour, but hey.  You can't win 'em all.

Aug 6, 2015

My Version of the Minimalist Challenge - Round 1

I saw a few people complete the minimalism challenge from Into Mind and I was all fired up about it.  "I MUST DO THIS!!!"

And then I thought about it.  Maybe adding more challenges to my life is the opposite of minimalism.  Because the area I could use the most decluttering in is my stack of obligations and tasks, rather than "stuff."  Although there are certain areas that could use a good clear out.

So I made my own list of what I thought was important.  Some are taken from Into Mind's challenge, and some are just things that needed doing in my own life.

My Personal Minimalist (ish) Challenge

1. Downsize Your Beauty Collection

This I took from Into Mind.  I had a few things I was holding onto that were just taking up space: vampire makeup from last Halloween, beautiful lip stain that causes intense dryness and chapping, and so on.  Then I looked under the bathroom sink and realized the problem was quite a bit bigger than that.  There were things in there that I've never looked at - mostly Ryan's stockpile from when I first moved in with him.

But, the thing is, we've moved together twice now, and neither of us has used or even looked through most of that stuff.  So I sorted through, turned 10 shoe boxes of toiletries into 5, and organized them by type.  So we have one for medical supplies, one for vitamins, another for toiletry refills, and one for nail polishes and not-every-day beauty stuff.

It's nice!  Everything looks much tidier and it's all accessible now, so we can figure out what things are without digging.

Aug 4, 2015

Pottermore is Giving Me an Identity Crisis

I discovered Pottermore last week.  For those not in-the-know, Pottermore is basically a fan site for the Harry Potter series, but it's the ultimate fan site.  You get sorted into the houses, learn spells, make potions, and play games that J.K. Rowling has signed off on as being a legitimate part of the HP world.

Here's the problem.  I've always strongly identified with Gryffindor.  But after going through all the questions and trying my best not to think too hard about which choice would equal which house, I was sorted into Hufflepuff.  Whaaat?

Of all the houses, Hufflepuff is the one I least empathize with!  Loyal, trustworthy, humble?  I'm not any of those things!  So I did what any non-loyal, non-trustworthy, and non-humble person would do.  I cheated.

I deleted my account, made a new one and started the process again.  My rationale was that the first time I'd had trouble clearing my head of what the answers "should" be for Gryffindor and maybe that had influenced me.  So I tried to be honest this time and pick the most appealing option to me, personally, not to who I "should" be.

And when I got my results this time, I realized there was indeed one house that I wanted to be in even less than Hufflepuff.


Aug 2, 2015

Sunday Sweats

Sunday Sweats Theme Inspired by Holly

I attempted the routine...

Weekly Workouts

Monday - Strength Training, 3 Mile Run | DTT: 70 Min

Bench press today, along with pulldowns and the ankle/shin rehab stuff.  My workout partner took his sweet time getting over to the "gym" so I had plenty of time to warm up and I just felt strong.  A good press today, and shooting for a PR for next week.

And, just because I felt like pushing things, I decided to attempt a run after work.  I've lost some stamina, which sucks, but for not running for weeks, it wasn't too bad.  I walked a tiny bit, and I completely ignored any pain in my legs.  Afterwards I iced, elevated, and did a good calf massage and you know what?  They actually didn't hurt the next day.  Ignore me while I attempt to contain my excitement.  *Happy dance*

Tuesday - Strength Training, Biking | DTT: 60 Min

We did arms today - curls and tris.  A nice change of pace from all the shoulder exercises.  After work I biked, but honestly, I'm not even sure if I should count it.  My legs were so tired - I was basically just pedaling without any real resistance.