A quick check in...with photos!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm sneaking on at work to post, but I just wanted to show a few pictures of an adventure I was "forced" to partake in.  Normally I don't post pictures of friends/IRL people, but I'll make an exception.  Please enjoy, and celebrate with me that I survived/am alive. [/dramatics]

My office men! (sans one, unfortunately)
The death traps. Or as otherwise called, an ATV and one of the dune buggies.
You can't tell, but I'm kind of terrified here.


Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Looking forward to 2011: A 20sb Blog Swap

Monday, December 20, 2010

(Time for another blog swap!  This time it's the amazingly awesome Amanda - it's her first blog swap and I trust you all to welcome her!)

Hi, everyone! I’m taking over Ashley’s blog today. I’m Amanda and I’ve never done a blog swap before so I have a bit of stage fright right now. I feel like I’m talking on the phone with someone new and I don’t know what to say so I just repeatedly ask them how they are. True story: this happened with my boss during my first week of work. Me: “Hi, how are you?” Boss: “Good! How are you?” Me: “I’m great, how are you?” Luckily, before I delved into trying to laugh at how I just repeated myself, he got another call and had to go. Long story short: being awkward is awesome. 

Anyway, it’s pretty crazy that Ashley and I were paired up as partners for this blog swap. We have a lot in common: living in San Diego, trying to figure out our lives after graduating from college, really liking Charlie Brown, etc. It also seems like both of us had a pretty hectic year, and we’re looking forward to moving on.

Personally, I’m really, really looking forward to leaving this year behind. Sure, I’ve learned a lot, but 2010 and I didn’t really get along. We weren’t BFFs. There were so many times that I felt like yelling, “Universe: I get it! Enough with the lessons!” I’d be going along thinking everything was all hunky dory and then, BOOM! A layoff! Anxiety! Car issues! Party down, right?

Not exactly.

But good news! I’ve decided that 2011 is going to be spectacular no matter what. I’ve made a list of reasons why so that I can recall them when I’m feeling like a grumpasaurus.
-         I have a great new job. The last year taught me that my job satisfaction really affects my whole life. I’ve only been in my current position for a few weeks now, but so far so good, and I’m learning a lot. I’m hopeful that the new year will bring much more experience and will be the year that I finally feel like I’m going somewhere with my career.

-         I’m going to Egypt! Holy smokes! This is a completely new development, but my sister found an awesome deal. My mom is obsessed with Egypt, and while we’ve poked fun at her and her love for King Tut for many years, it looks like I’ll be spending a few days among the pyramids this summer. It’s a hard life, right? I’m so grateful for the opportunity.

-         The worst is over. It’s cliché, but I now truly know that I can handle whatever life throws at me. I’ve gotten good at budgeting my money, I’ve developed a great support system, and I’m finally feeling hopeful again. I know I’ll be okay.

-         Oh, and The Bachelor begins on January 3rd. Hell yes. I love me some raunchy reality TV.

Cheers to finding awesome new blog friends, being optimistic, and feeling excitement for what’s to come. 


#Reverb10 catch-up: prompts 2-4

Monday, December 13, 2010

Prompt #2: Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
I was going to say work, since all it does is impede my time and I preeetty much blame everything on work.  But actually...that's all I've blogged or tweeted about recently.  And writing is writing, even if it's in the form of 140 characters or a quickly shot off blog post.  So really, work is the reason I'm writing?  (That is a strange thought.)

I realized though, something I do every day that doesn't contribute to my work: make excuses.  It's not procrastination - it's shoving blame off on other things.  I work too much, I'm too tired, I won't have enough time to write something worthwhile, I have to leave in half an hour...the list is endless.  I can make any excuse for any situation.  I simply take the easy way out, and I'd rather like it to stop.

As much as I don't want to admit it, yes, of course I can eliminate this.  It's difficult to accept blame, isn't it?  Maybe it's just me.  In any case, I'll have to face a lot of things to eliminate this: that maybe I'm not as disciplined as I like to believe, or that I'm not as confident as I seem.  But I know that this is necessary, and that I need to work on it.

Prompt #3: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors)
I didn't want to go down the steep, wooden stairs.  They looked rickety and honestly, the thought of it made my stomach drop.  And then as soon as I got down there, I'd have to walk the dark pathway that extended maybe three feet around the cliff's edge...two steps in the wrong direction and I'd find myself in the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean, 30 feet below at 1 in the morning - not a situation I'd like.

Five minutes later, I'd gone down the steps and forced myself across the pathway - now I was standing at the edge of a jutting cliff, staring out into the darkness of the ocean and watching the waves crush against the rocks below me. My friends were behind me - I could hear them yelling at each other and hollering dares and horsing around - and in front of me was the ocean...and it felt like the entire world was at my feet.  Salty air, fresh wind, the voices of people I love and people who love me close enough to feel like I'm grounded but far enough away where I felt on my own...that small dip in your stomach as you look past the cliff and know that if three pebbles under your feet move your entire life will change somehow, some way...it's one of those moments where I know that my life, whatever the hell I'm feeling and thinking and wanting and needing...I know that my life is a life I want to live.

Prompt #4: Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?
For the majority of this year, I was unemployed. And most of the time, I was pretty much lost and hopeless and listless and, as much as I'd like to not use the word, depressed.  But during this time, I also recognized how blessed I was to be given a time where I was financially cared for and, while yes I was incredibly worried and stressed, I had all the time in the world.  And I used that time: I explored San Diego and facets of my life I never had before. I went to beaches I'd never been to, walked into stores I didn't normally go into, found libraries and buildings and secret hidden landmarks of San Diego I never thought I would. I had a pitiful attempt at GeoCaching that I would like to revisit in the new year.

Most of all, I went about my routine with new eyes. I started to pay attention to the tennis courts I went to, I started to look around the libraries I was constantly at, really listen to the customers while I sat at Starbucks and Coffee Bean and Panera.  There's so much gone unseen and unnoticed in our daily lives, and for a brief few months of this year, I really made an effort to take it all in.

It has dwindled as I've gotten more and more caught up in work and family and holidays and the drama and daily doings of life, but I hope to remember this feeling as my life continue.  That I'll take at least an hour a day or a day a week or a week a months to really look around and keep my eyes open.


Where I'm At Now

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why yes, my Firefox is a Big Bang Theory theme, thanks for noticing!

  • Pretty fucking irritated with my car/Toyota dealership. I'm at my 90k tune-up, and I get that it's major.  But fucking SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS MAJOR?! I'm going to cry. Last time I was there for my 85k, they said it would probably be around $300, maybe $350.  And that's what I've budgeted for the last six months.  And suddenly, oh, synthetic oil prices went up, and your cabin filter does need changing, and labor fees went up, and JUST ROB ME BLIND WHY DON'T YOU.  Fuck.
  • That said, I am now down 80% of my budgeted Christmas fund.  Um, sorry acquaintances and office friends: you get a hug now.  Maybe even a kiss on the cheek if I think you're really special.
  • Photo above is literally where I am at right now.  Starbucks in San Marcos.
  • I am also incredibly sick at the moment.  Maybe not incredibly, but sick enough where I'm breathing loudly through my mouth, my nose is a veritable waterfall that's too stuffed to sniff, and my head feels like an overinflated balloon. I knew this was coming since three co-workers and two friends were sick, and I'm already not sleeping enough...but it still sucks.
  • Peppermint mochas and Ritz crackers are not very yummy together.
  • Despite the negativity on this blog and in my life right now, I am excited for the holidays in relation to my office!  Not for the Christmas party, since I'm no adrenaline junkie (see this tweet for reference)--but because my boss gave me free reign to decorate the office!  And I'm so fucking exciting to decorate a space all on my own I'm even willing to ignore the slight offense that he's letting me because I'm female.
  • Feeling weird since I ran into my old co-editors big sister and she updated me on her life.  I'm happy for her, I really am: but it's strange to hear that my 3-years-younger old friend is now engaged and getting married in the Summer.  As if I don't already feel like 23-going-on-90.  Except I'm a lonely 90 year old, without even cats, who's never known love...
  • I have a free Disneyland ticket, and I forgot about it, and now it expires next Wednesday, and I have no time to go!  ARGHHHH.
  • Can't Stop. Listening. To...CHRISTMAS CAROLS.  (Currently: Glee Cast - We Need A Little Christmas.  Up next: When Christmas Comes To Town - Polar Express OST)
  • Wondering what the heck I'm going to get my brother for Christmas.  What do you get a 26-year-old who lives at home, hates any and all technology, and does not need anything else for his guitars?  He is not into cars, tools, football, going to the gym, or anything movie- or hollywood-related.
  • And am now signing off to go have lunch with my mom.  Despite the fact I'm not at work and am therefore not making money, I'm happy since I rarely get to see my mom during the week (you'd think I would since I live with my family...).


This post is basically a thinly disguised vent/emotional frustration dump.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Longest work week ever.  So much to do, so much done, but so much left to do.

I got mad at a coworker this week, which was the first time ever. I get frustrated with my work, I get angry at clients who call and yell at me for things outside my control, I have several slight irritations that will leave after a few deep breaths.  But this was the first time I was legitimately mad with my coworker.  And it was...not pretty.  It was mad to the point where I almost started crying because I just had no other way to release it.  I actually had to tell him to shut up for two seconds and to just go away, because looking at him was making it worse.

I haven't had that happen in awhile, and it's bad that it happened at work. I still think my anger was warranted, and no, I have not apologized.  But I recognize that it's a bad situation to get angry not only with someone who I share an office with and was assigned a task to complete with that day, but also because he is technically my "superior."  Have you ever called the person you're supposed to take direction from an asshole?  Because I don't recommend it.

I know that I'm sounding like a spoiled brat right now, and I get that it was not smart for me to do any of this.  But I really was just so mad.  He didn't help the situation because he kept repeating what was making me angry and kept picking at it over and over and over and was relentless.  Then he kept saying, "wow, you need a massage or something, calm down."  Do people seriously think telling an angry person to "calm down" helps?!

We're a small office, and despite the fact that he is my "superior," we are on pretty even terms. We work well together, we understand that the other has strengths and weaknesses that benefit the both of us, and up until that day, we've gotten along stupendously.  He didn't even get mad about me telling him he was being an asshole (because he knew he was) - apparently I just hurt his feelings.  He was pretty put out that I was mad, and he unfairly used the office doggie to finally get me to look at him and smile.

I hate fighting, I hate being angry.  We're fine, and no, my job is not in jeopardy.  But it was a terrible day, and even though I'm dwelling on it too much, I'd really like it to just be forgotten and in the past.

Moving along...

So, Christmas.  I wish I could post my calendar so you could all see how incredibly hectic this month is going to be, but I swear to God every friend I've ever had is popping out of the woodwork or going to be within 100 miles of me and wants to see me.  And don't get me wrong, that makes me happy and I want to see them, too--it's just crappy what with working full time now (yeah...I'm not getting into that) and having to shove in personal Christmas doings anyway.  Toss in drive times, at least 9 people who are coming in town and want to see me, my mom's upcoming birthday, another girl's birthday who insists on taking up 2 days to celebrate it, and the oddball decision of another friend choosing to throw a random party right in the middle of holiday season...I can't breathe just thinking about it.

It is, however, 3am now, and I should probably sleep since I'm going to be so ridiculously busy.  Contrary to how it seems, I do make good decisions--just not lately, apparently.

On #reverb10: I've never been one to post every single day. I just don't have the energy to do it, nor do I have the time to set aside every day to put up a post.  Plus, it's a bit overwhelming on the reader (in my personal opinion, anyway).  So, despite the fact reverb10 is a daily prompt, I'm most likely going to group chunks of prompts together.  And I will most likely put them on the weekends, towards a time when people don't quite read.  It's not that I'm trying to hide my responses, it's just that I'm mostly doing it for myself, as a reflection on a tough year to try to reconcile myself with it.  I don't need to overwhelm my readers with my personal woes every single day.


My year in one word, and how batman's an asshole. (They're unrelated. Swear.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

If you're tapped into the blogosphere even a little bit, it's a high chance you've heard about #reverb10.  (If you haven't, click here!) The day has finally come: Prompt 1!

Prompt: One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you're choosing that word. Now, imagine it's one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

Ashley's 2010 in a word: brutal.

This year was rough.  I started the year unemployed, and everything seemed to fall apart from there.  I started to get down on myself as a potential employee--and when that situation didn't improve, it started to take its toll on the rest of me. I started to doubt myself, who I am, what I am to others...pretty much everything.

And then I got a job. And it seemed ok again  - until I realized that my unemployment was a factor to my depression, but not the reason.  There were so many things that didn't get better when I was hired; in fact, it made it worse. I started to lose faith in me, in my worth, in the others around me.  I started to feel like I'd never amount to anything, as though I was wasting everything. And then it turned to the fact that I felt like a colossal disappointment to anyone who had ever believed in me.

I don't really know the turning point, or if there really was one...but the feeling is fading. There are still a lot of things I'm unhappy about, and it does unfortunately outnumber the things I'm currently ok with--but what matters is that I'm feeling ok about things.  That I can still tell there's good in my life, that there are things I am happy with and grateful for and incredibly blessed to have and am hopeful about.

Which is really what I'd like next year to be about.  It just needs to have a bit of hope.

And on a sort of related but not actually note...we have a client named Bruce Wayne.  Like...really.  That's his name.  And his voicemail message is hilarious, because it's just so serious.  It feels as though he's in such a rush because he's just like "ThisisBruceWayneI'mnothereleaveamessage" and its so quick and businesslike and its like OH SHIT he's out saving the world!

We were pretty psyched about having Batman as a client for awhile...until he emailed us back the answer to our question. And it won't really make sense to anyone who isn't in my industry, plus the fact that it is kind of specific so I really shouldn't share it on a public blog - but let's leave it that he's a prick. His answer was so facetious and clipped and RUDE.  Completely uncalled for, and the only conclusion we can come to is that Batman is, unfortunately, an asshole.


About Me

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I'm fairly obsessed with penguins, Peanuts (the comic), and the TV show Friends. Parentheses may or may not be (over)used in this blog, and books will pretty much be the only thing I ever talk about because they are my One True Love.


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Zoe's bookshelf: read

The Dragon's EyeAngelsThe Lightning ThiefThe Man of My DreamsCity of GlassCity of Ashes

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