Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Jenni's post today inspired me and I'm thinking of making a radical change in my life this spring. For some of you, maybe this wouldn't be so radical or so difficult but for me, it kind of is. I'm thinking about giving up watching television. I've been realizing what a HUGE time-suck this is for me and I'm sort of hopefully dreaming about all the things I might accomplish without it.*
*Right now, somewhere in Colorado, my mother is breaking into a joyful aria.
I had to think about the terms of this for a little while and here's what I'm thinking...
- No television. The only exception will be news. Because I'm a news junkie and I'm waaaaay into the election coverage right now.
- I can still watch movies because, for whatever reason, I feel the need to plan movie-watching time. It feels a whole lot more deliberate to sit down and watch a feature length film for two hours. Consequently, I actually don't do this very much.
I'm going to start with a week. Can I go a week without it? And here's where the whole i'm-an-addict thing kicks in. But, Elizabeth, what about The Voice? Battle rounds are next week! You really, REALLY want to know what happens in the battle rounds! Sigh. You're right, TV-Junkie-Elizabeth. I really do. But can I live without it?
I can live without it.
Learning to live without is something that seems like an act of growth to me. It feels important to take something out of the equation so that other, better, healthier, more amazing things might happen. I imagine the outside world, a sweeping chasm of possibility in front of me and I think about how much I am confined by my television-watching habit.
So television and I are taking a break. And frankly, Hulu, it's not me, it's you.
Questions for you today...are you giving anything up, either for Lent or just because? What do you want to be different by the next Leap Day?
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Just remember, whatever's going on for you today...you can't do everything either.
Monday, February 27, 2012
And this is how I found myself sitting on a couch in the Zappos Outlet with Beth, trying not to cry.
Trying not to cry is totally worse than crying because you get that enormous lump behind your tongue that aches all the way up into the roof of your mouth and the more you think, Don’t cry, don’t cry, the faster the tears come spilling out of the corners of your eyes like little tiny flag-waving people screaming to everyone in the store, OMGLOOKSOMETHINGISREALLYWRONGWITHTHATGIRLSITTINGONTHECOUCHINZAPPOS!!!!!!
And the more I tried not to cry, the more obvious it became until the Zappos security guard came over with a tissue and said, “Ma’am, I’m with security. If there’s anything you need from us, you just let us know.”
The only thing that is worse than trying not to cry is trying not to cry when someone you don’t know is nice to you while you’re trying not to cry.
Dear, sweet, Zappos security guard, can you please make a hole open up in the middle of the Zappos store and swallow me up so that I can cry sad, stupid tears all over my sad, stupid face without worrying about my mascara running or my glasses fogging up?
The moral of the story is…sometimes we have bad days? I don’t know. There’s no moral. Although, I’m pretty sure it should be illegal to cry in Zappos. The deals are just too good. And no one is even paying me to say that.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
1. Emily Deschanel. Really funny and kind, seems to listen well, acts completely normal and fun in interviews, balances her new baby and career (something I aspire to), and just happens to play one of my favorite characters on television. Ever. I love that she has no problem looking silly or being vulnerable.
2. Michelle Obama. I just feel like she’s a woman that I could learn a great deal from. She’s so well-educated and poised and she has that inexplicable quality of all great first ladies, absolute grace under pressure. I love her passion for getting children and families physically active, her commitment to her daughters and the way she is able to both support her husband and hold him accountable, her amazing sense of humor and fun, and her classic sense of style. For me, she is the quintessential American woman.
3. Jon Stewart. Well-read, intelligent, thoughtful. We have similar politics but, like I want to be, I think Jon tries to really listen to opposing points of view and find value everywhere he looks. Also, he’s had the chance to interview some of the most influential leaders and writers of the 21st century and I think he would be really interesting. I Iove that he’s a family man. Also, a true New Yorker. The kind of friend I’d want to take me to see the Statue of Liberty.
4. Ryan Gosling. Okay, no one that reads my blog should be surprised. We all know that Ryan Gosling is already my platonic movie-husband. The truth is, though…I just think Ryan is great friend material, period. He’s very thoughtful and has a lot of humility. He has a heart for others and uses his celebrity for the Enough Project, an organization working to help end genocide in Uganda and the Congo. You can watch a video about that here. He doesn’t seem to let what others think change who he is. He loves his mom so much that he takes her as his date to almost everything (including the Oscars). He has a band. He wears footie pajamas. He respects women. He’s obsessed with his dog. Also, Kyle and I want to name our son Ryan so I appreciate that R.G. is living up to the name we have picked out for our future child by being, in general, so awesome.
5. Trey Parker and Matt Stone. I realize that Trey and Matt are not one person but I would really like to be friends with both of them. Simultaneously. And I would like to be around to watch them play off each other or come up with a new episode. Or just do Kyle and Cartman’s voices for half an hour. Whatever. Also, Trey and Matt are from Colorado which practically makes us best friends already. Because our souls are all Rocky Mountain sympatico and stuff.
What about you? Is there a famous person you’d actually want to be FRIENDS with?
Friday, February 24, 2012
Today I’m presenting at a conference in Kentucky which means…I am far away from my baby blog. In my absence, my dear blog-friend Ashley has come over to share her expertise as a counselor with all of us….leave her some love, please. And be sure to check out her blog, A Recipe for Sanity for great cooking tips, thoughts on learning to love herself, and life with her sweet guy…Ashley is on my regular reading list for a reason. If you haven’t met yet, I’ll think you’ll LOVE her!
Like all of you, I wear many hats. I work full time; I’m a master’s student in Marriage and Family Therapy (which means they’ve actually unleashed me on real people with real problems!), and I’m also a partner to Rob, the most incredible guy on the planet. You can see how sometimes things get a bit hectic.
I’ve realized over the years the importance of taking care of myself so that I can take care of others. Without self-care, I wind up sitting in the corner, crying and eating my hair. (Okay, maybe not exactly like that, but just talk to Rob. He’ll tell you it’s pretty close!) The lovely Elizabeth has asked me to share with you five ways to manage stress and take care of yourself, so here goes:
- Pamper Yourself: Do something calming for both your mind and your body. This could be anything that relaxes you, and it doesn’t have to cost much, if anything at all! I’m a grad student, so I don’t always have the money to go out and get a pedicure or a massage. But I’ll pamper myself by giving myself a home pedicure, or using a face mask that makes me look like a member of the Blue Man Group. I’ll light a candle, take a long shower, and relax with a television show or movie that only I enjoy. Moments like this that are just for me really help me to manage stress and feel more balanced.
- Move It!: I am so guilty of putting this on the back burner, but finding a physical activity that you enjoy is huge in managing stress. It could be anything you like: a run in your favorite park, a yoga class with a friend, or a zumba video you got from the library. Even if you go outside just to enjoy nature and look around, it’s great for your mind and body and will reduce your stress level. If you’re like me and you’re always putting the other things on your to-do list before this, schedule it in!
- Eat Something (But Not Just Anything!): I notice that when I’m really busy and stressed, I tend to grab for the first thing I can eat quickly. The problem with that is that those meals are usually not what my body needs to feel energized and ready to face a long day. Lately, I’ve been making more of an effort to have healthy foods on hand, like pieces of fruit and yogurts I can just grab from the fridge. I know we’ve all heard it before, but I’ve noticed that when I’m getting the kind of nutrition my body needs to power through a 14+ hour day, I feel so much better. As tempting as it is, don’t skip meals because you’re too busy, and plan ahead so that you are eating delicious foods that support your crazy-busy lifestyle!
- Rant If You Need To: I’m serious: I believe in the therapeutic power of venting to friends, on your blog, to your cat…whatever works for you. Holding negative emotions in is only going to increase the blow-up when you finally lose it later (or am I just talking about myself?). When you have a bad day, tell someone about it or do something physical (kickboxing class, perhaps?) to express your emotions.
- Get Some Sleep: I know, I know. You’ve heard this one before. The busier you are and the more stress you have, the less sleep you might be getting each night. Everyone tells you to get those 8 hours, but I know firsthand that it doesn’t always work that way. Still, get as much sleep as you can. Try to unwind before bed with a book or other relaxing activity. Make sleep a priority so that you can get the rest you need to conquer another busy day and keep your stress levels down.
See what I mean? Ashley needs to be MY counselor! Go here to check out her blog.
What about you? What ways do you manage stress for yourself?
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Full tank of gas? Check. iPod playlist? Check. PB &J? Double check.
Today I am driving to Kentucky for a conference that starts tomorrow. It’s a beautiful drive and I’m really looking forward to the open stretches of highway between here and there. I’m leaving in the early afternoon and I plan to stop and take pictures, if I can. It should be a beautiful drive and the Weather Channel is predicting a balmy 64 degrees. Take THAT, Punxsutawney Phil!
Road trips are my favorite time to tweet so if you’re on Twitter, I’d love some company tomorrow! You can tweet me @lohleegaggle any time and I’ll be sharing some tweets from the road, as well.
What do you find indispensable for long car trips?
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Sometimes I look at my blog and think…this is not really representative of my day-to-day. Yeah, I like to take pictures of the dog and clean the apartment and take Kyle on whimsical dates but honestly, the majority of my time is spent studying. And for as much as I sometimes long for nights without homework, I really, really love grad school. Especially when I get to read about people I really love like the playwright/journalist/novelist Djuna Barnes. I’ve spent so much time reading about Djuna, that I’ve stopped using her last name. We’re that close. On that nerdy note, if you want to read an amazing expose, a spunky young journalist wrote in 1914, go here. She is so crazy-brave in her writing and her work. Here’s a picture of her. You can just tell how sassy she is…
So my point is…what was my point again? Oh, yeah, I love studying.
I’m settling in for another few hours of work and as you can see…I am prepared.
Kyle even bought me my drink of choice with his sexy, sexy partner discount. There is seriously nothing more charming than my husband holding a venti Café Misto with a shot of espresso…sigh.
Lady Starbucks isn’t bad-looking either but that’s probably just the copious amounts of caffeine talking.
Okay, back to my books…
Anything you feel nerdy about?
Every time we finish a cycle of illness in our house (you know…the thing where Kyle gets sick and then I get sick and then we’re both sneezing buckets of snot, hacking up our lungs, stock-piling mountains of used tissue, and reaching desperately for another dose of Day-Quil), I have this ritual. It’s a little like an exorcism, but more cheerful.
The Howard Hughes in me imagines little cold-germies infesting our apartment. I freak out. And then I do this.
I scrub every conceivable surface with anti-bacterial wipes.
I replace our toothbrushes.
And our contact lens cases.
And our sheets and pillowcases.
I light a candle. And I thank God that head-colds don’t last forever.
Monday, February 20, 2012
You know that feeling…
Where you feel like you’ve been juggling a million things…but don’t remember which things exactly…
And you’re pretty sure you dropped the ball…
But you just aren’t sure which one…
Yeah. That feeling.
Hey, Monday…let’s do this.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Today I’m feeling that first weird nostalgic feeling I get, right before the spring. I’ve said this before but I feel like all the best things that have happened to me, have happened in the spring. Kyle and I fell in love in the spring, we got married in the spring…and with the sun shining today, it almost feels like the winter is on its way out (cue blizzard?).
So in honor of the first stirrings of spring, here’s a song from our past. I borrowed this CD from Kyle when we were dating and they played this song as the processional at our wedding.
How are you feeling about spring? Is it almost here or a long way off for you? If you’re married, what music did they play at the end of the ceremony?
Saturday, February 18, 2012
And by sometimes I mean…a lot of the time?
I’m kind of a movie fanatic. Not a film buff. Film buffs are way more sophisticated in their tastes. I basically have the worst possible taste in movies. The sillier and more overwrought, the better.
In pursuit of #17 on my 31 Before ‘13 bucket list, I watched a little movie called The Birds.
Here’s a clip.
If you're thinking, wow, that movie looks awesome, you are totally right. It is.
My only complaint…for the first third of the movie, I thought it was going to be about how Melanie Daniels is a crazy stalker who somehow manages to track down the vacation home address for a lawyer she has only met once and then proceeds to drive to Bodega Bay, rent a boat, and then sneak into his house to leave him…some birds? (Spoiler alert: It’s apparently not about that.)
Anyway, I loved it. It’s my third Hitchcock film (after Rebecca and Rope). Next on my list, Vertigo and North by Northwest.
Anyone else watch old movies? Anyone have a favorite?
Friday, February 17, 2012
If I haven’t gushed over the Franklin Park Conservatory on this blog already, I must be on crack. Because this place is one of the very best things about Columbus.
Franklin Park is basically Ohio’s answer to the Denver Botanical Gardens. Denver still wins because…well, because it’s Denver and I’ll always be a Denver girl in my heart. All the same, FPC has so much going for it (things like adorable café, free and easy parking, community garden, and cheap-o student memberships).
This place gave me the nature fix I’ve been craving this winter because even a mild winter in Ohio is still…well…a winter in Ohio.
What are you taking lots of pictures of these days?
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Kate flew out from San Diego last weekend to see me and I wanted to share some of my pictures. She decided by the end of the weekend that anyone who enters my apartment should be required to sign a photography waiver. But she was a great sport about it and let me take about a gajillion pictures of her! Here are a few of my favorites…
Kate hadn’t had real snow in the past two years because she spends most of her time in sunny San Diego. Don’t you feel bad for her? Actually, you should probably feel bad for her. I made her stand outside for a long time while I snapped these.
Isn’t she beautiful?
When Kate and I were in middle school and high school, we were in a girls’ ensemble choir at church. Our wonderful director (and growing up, our second mom), Tammy, lives here in Ohio now. On Sunday afternoon, we dragged her out to the Franklin Park Conservatory with us to see the beautiful orchids, but mostly just to talk her ear off…so fun. I can’t even tell you how many of my high school memories revolve around choir sleepovers at Miss Tammy’s!
And one of me…to prove I was actually there…
I actually took a whole big bunch at the conservatory and I’ll post some of those tomorrow! Tammy and I are both pretty hardcore shutterbugs and poor Kate had to follow us around for an hour or so but I think she had fun, anyway.
Thank you, thank you, Kate for flying all the way to little old Columbus for me and thank you, Tammy, for coming out in the cold February afternoon with us!
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Still battling a head cold that’s creeping slowly into my lungs. Being sick sucks but I’m using it as an excuse to eat a cheeseburger and go to bed early. I’m pretty sure that’s allowed.
Not that I have time to read any of these right now…but hey, a girl can dream…
Click on any of the books to read an Amazon review…
What about you? What’s on your reading list?
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
It’s February 14th, a day of great significance in our house. Not only is it a day celebrating love…it’s also my half-birthday, something that is still totally important to me because today I am 24 and 1/2, okay? Recognize.
And because February has a sense of humor, I am stuck in bed with a bad cold.
So while I may not be doing much of my favorite Valentine activities (cough, making out with Kyle, cough), my pajamas are celebrating for me…
Here’s my Valentine’s playlist in case you’re in the mood to be ushy-gushy with me.
Today, please know that you are loved. How are you spending the holiday?
Happy Valentine’s Day!