Thursday, December 27, 2007

Feliz Navidad!

Here Jenn and I are after baking and decorating for 6 hrs a few weeks ago. Gotta love those gingerbread men!

I'm back in the office recovering from the sugar coma I've been in for the past four days. From coffee cake, to ginger snaps, to margaritas, wine and chocolates, I've had my share of sugar and fat to last me until the end of 2008. I'm pretty sure I was never hungry Christmas day thanks to those 14 gingersnaps, the cup of hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps, and goodies from my stocking. Damn Gina, it's time to get back on that healthy eating wagon. Luckily, I managed to run 11 miles on Christmas Eve to keep up my training for an upcoming half marathon in a few weeks and to help burn off some of those evil, but oh-so-yummy cookies.

It doesn't really help that this morning when I finally arrived at work, (tired from last night's dinner and drinks with the high school friends in Portland) that there were fresh cinnamon rolls sitting in our office. Double damn.

Anyway, I'm trying to get some stuff done before I pack tonight and then head back to Portland tomorrow for my 5am flight to El Paso on Saturday morning. Yawn.

I hope Santa was good to you this year (assuming you didn't deserve a pile of coal in your stocking). I unexpectedly received a Garmin Nuvi from the parents so I can travel to my heart's content in any city without getting lost. Cheers to no longer printing off MapQuest directions!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Creativity and all that jazz

Prior to a month or so ago, I really never gave myself the time or the option to explore my creative abilities. Sure, coming from a family of artists, I know I have some creativity in my blood and I am pretty good at scrapbooking and decorating cupcakes, but let's get serious. I think our society looks at creativity sometimes as a hindrance to our daily lives that is acceptable just as long as it does not to interrupt the productivity of the working world.

A month ago I went to the library in search of a few "this is the career path for you" type books and some general good advice on dating for the lame. I emerged with several books, the gem of which, was Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way Workbook." This week I'm on week four, "Recovering a Sense of Integrity."

In the past three weeks I have learned a lot about myself that extends beyond just my creative talents. Cameron puts you up to ten or so tasks per week, usually involving some writing, creativity and thought. From "Artist's Dates" to dreaming up 5 lives you wish you could lead (professional athlete, photographer, wedding planner, fashion designer/consultant & singer) to listing people you both secretly and publicly admire, this workbook is way cheaper than therapy or a month long retreat to some yoga farm in the hills of California. I highly recommend it!

The biggest challenge so far is trying to write my daily morning pages (three entire pages!), which usually add about thirty minutes to my morning routine. Lately, I've been saying "goodbye" to my brisk morning walks and instead writing three pages of randomness and bits and pieces of what I remember from my dreams. Supposedly, this takes all the random and seemingly useless thoughts you have running around your head and paves the way for a productive day because you have cleared your mind of some of the clutter that can slow you down. Anyway, now I'm just rambling. Time to hit the gym before the holiday madness ensues!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Patient

I've been patient, I've been nice, I've been understanding. But there is a point at which my nerves and patience reach their limit and today is that day.

For the past nine months I have been operating unknown to everyone and their dog it seems, without a boss (ok, minus the past few months) doing all of the membership program, filling in the gaps my boss left, and have been sapped of all possible knowledge I once had. I understand the University has it's HR processes, but when offered a "promotion" it seems as though you should receive it sooner than three months after you have been notified of such. Give me the job already.

I admit the soreness in my throat and the feeling of nausea aren't helping my current state of positivity, but I also have to recognize that in the real world where time and money really do matter, I would not still be dealing with this promotion. Today, I had the privilege of interviewing for a job I have been doing for several months now. Welcome to the most awkward ten minute interview ever (of my life anyway).

1. "What do you feel qualifies you for this position?"
-Uh, the past two years!

2. "What experience do you have with membership programs?"
-Again, the past two years doing just that.

3. "Tell us about a print project you did from start to finish."
Oh, god. Like everything I've ever produced for a campaign. I work with my boss to solidify the ideas behind our campaign, send text and photos to designer, have designer mock something up, go back and forth with edits until fabulous and ready to mail.

4. "Tell us about your experience with working on a team. Give us one example of a successful situation and one example of a team that was unsuccessful."
-(Thinking "Oh, Lord") Lacrosse team, current staff, refer to valid event using team situation and refer to crappy business group where no one lifted their weight but myself and another guy.

5. "Where do you see your career going?"
-I have no idea. I'm just trying to figure out what I want to do and right now I'm passionate about the university. (Trying not to burst into tears and admit what I'm really thinking because honestly, I feel so lost and clueless about what the hell I'm doing with my life.)

Bonus: "Do you have any questions of us?"
-No.

And, done. Why do Mondays always suck so much? Sorry to be a downer. Maybe some more sleep will fix the funk I've found myself in.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cheers to solitude

As I was sitting in one of my favorite campus restaurants eating yummy tomato soup and salad, I realized I'm pretty good at being alone. Not that I always want to be alone, but none the less I'm good at it. Everyone else in the place was happy to have the company of their coworkers, friends, spouse or newspaper. I was perfectly happy to be sitting there with my book and my thoughts.

Life after college has afforded me large chunks of time alone to do the things I once enjoyed with roommates, teammates, and close friends. I've become accustomed to hanging out with me, myself and I so much so that when it comes to having to share a meal or hang out a friend's apartment, I have to think twice about it. When you spend the majority of your time outside of working doing WHAT you want WHEN you want to, being flexible with other peoples' plans for you can be hard to do.

So I wonder, if I do find someone I'm interested in hanging out with (outside of my running groupies) or meet a guy I want to date, will I be willing to rearrange my schedule? I think I will, but I'm not sure. At the moment, being stuck feels normal to me. Stuck in my ways of working, working out, eating, watching Grey's Anatomy and sleeping. Even something as simple as going to a basketball game makes me tense. How long can I work out? When do I eat dinner? Will I get enough sleep? Luckily, I'm pretty resourceful and am able to juggle my minimal time (and a Luna bar) pretty well, but when it comes to building relationships I think it might take more than just an hour here and there. But for right now I'm happy, happy to go to a movie by myself, get takeout, laugh and cry with Grey's on my couch and do a lot of reading and writing. I think when life's ready to throw me the right person, I'll be ready.

Friday, December 7, 2007

El Paso it is...


The Ducks' football season ended a little less eventful than fans had once hoped. With our loss in double OT to the Beavs, leaving us with an 8-4 record we are off to El Paso, TX for the Brut Sun Bowl to play the No. 21 ranked South Florida Bulls. One of the perks of working in my department at the University however, is that I'll be heading to the bowl game on Dec. 29 for the Dec. 31 game. As luck would have it, one of my coworkers and partners-in-crime and I will be diverting our return home by way of...Viva Las Vegas!

As fabulous as El Paso surely is for New Year's Eve, we decided to make a minor detour to celebrate the holiday in the city that knows how to do it right. So here's the plan: cheer on the Ducks Dec. 29-31, fly out immediately after the game on Dec. 31 and land in Vegas around 9 pm, chuck our bags in lockers at the airport, head to the strip for a huge street party and hopefully some beautiful people watching, and finally catch our 8 am flight back to the Northwest. Oh Vegas, I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Uplifting Tuesday

Monday was a "Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day," as Alexander would say. Today I woke up in a much better mood, which was improved even more so by starting my day out with a good sweat at the gym. On a much happier note, my new digital camera, a Panasonic Lumix arrived in the mail on Friday! You can expect to see more fun shots now that I have an updated compact digi and will not have to lug my ginormous Canon Digital Rebel XT around just to keep you current on the latest happenings. This one can slip into my purse or jacket pocket pretty easily without making me look like I'm a real photographer or a freaky stalker. Holla!

Monday, December 3, 2007

I've got a bad case of the Mondays

Little sleep mixed with it being Monday and a wind storm taking over the western part of Oregon, makes for a really crappy start to the week. Campus feels really dead with it being finals week and all. And, the fact that the Ducks lost the Civil War isn't helping. So, the Ducks will be heading to El Paso for the bowl game. Not exactly the place I was hoping for, but what can ya do?

I'm feeling stressed out with Christmas coming, even though it's still a few weeks away. I'm losing control of my good eating habits with every box of donuts or cookies that gets put on our snack table at work. Just leave it at the store people...I can't handle it! I feel like I've lost all willpower. Luckily, I'm maintaining my workout regime so I have that to keep me in check. So, here's to the rest of the week filled with salads and good eating habits.

With little patience left for this Monday, I took my stress outside and went a half hour walk during lunch. Still not feeling fabulous, but the head is a bit clearer. A walk can do wonders when nothing else can.