Sunday, June 29, 2014

Thoughts on Results

Living alone gives you plenty of time to think, and this weekend I was thinking about how much I enjoy having something to show for my work, and how much that drives me.  I think that is why I like producing so much.  Obviously, all jobs have some sort of project at the end of them, tangible or not.  But I definitely prefer the tangible, and sooner rather than later.

At the end of every work day, I have a completed project to show for my work that day.  I think this makes me much more productive each day, because I can see what I've completed within a few hours.  It doesn't take days, weeks, months even to show what my hard work can do.  It's why I like to do craft projects, and not ones that take too long (the amount of times I attempted to start a large sewing project with my mom when I was growing up....).  

That's all well and good, but unfortunately, it's the same with exercising.  It was always so hard for me to workout during summers, and even during fall pre-seasons, because I couldn't see where the work was getting me yet. Right now, my only reason to run is to stay healthy and in shape... but that's not really a tangible goal.  I don't need to lose weight, so there are no real things to motivate me.  So I'm thinking of signing up for a 5k in August.  My competitive side won't want to look like a fool after being a DI athlete, so that will be a goal I can see.  I also found an app through Nike that can track my mileage via GPS on my phone, so then I can try and run farther each day, regardless of how long it takes me.

I'm glad I'm getting some time to get to self-reflect and learn about myself while I'm out here.  And I really hope my realization of my need for immediate, seeable goals will truly bump up my fitness levels.  I don't want to suddenly be unhealthy after about 11 years of running track! 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Cat Troubles

Difficulties in my life as a cat mom today.  We went to the vet yesterday because he need a regular check-up and a shot.  They did some fecal tests, and the poor guy has a parasite that can't be treated with the regular de-worming medication that the adoption group gave him.  This does at least explain why he was having some stinky gas issues at least. Also, McKenzie Animal Hospital in Springfield is great, if anyone out here somehow found my blog and is looking for vet recommendations.  Super nice, helpful, and they clearly care about the animals.

He has six doses of a medication that I have to squirt in his mouth one a day -- which he obviously does not enjoy at all.  It took me about two hours (sometimes trying, sometimes giving him a break) before I finally succeeding in getting it in there.  He got mad at me and kept running away from my advances for a while, but now he's back to cuddling again.  I'm not looking forward to repeating the process tomorrow, and I hope he cooperates better.  I just want him healthy, because he's the second member of my little family out here in Oregon!

On a different topic, I should be getting my pictures in the mail soon, and I'll be able to hang everything!  My apartment will finally be complete, and that will feel so nice. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wall Art

Getting my things ready to hang on the walls.  Ordered photo prints from Target, I have so larger (almost poster sized) pictures coming in the mail soon too, and I finally have all my artwork on canvases and some prints from Etsy to hang up.  I want to have a good balance of photos and art on the gallery wall I plan on making behind my futon, so I decided to make some myself.  I made the photo above with a picture I took when I was at the Cape last year, and one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books, Little Women.  Fun fact: it costs under $1.50 to get a something printed on nice paper at FedEx if you're able to pick it up instead of having it shipped.  Perfect for me, because it's really easy to swing by on the way home from work.

I can't wait to get all my pictures in the mail so I can start laying things out and seeing what they look like together.  I have more of my photographs selected in case I want to make some more of these, depending on the look of the gallery wall and my remaining blank wall space.  At such a good price, why not?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

I have only been to four baseball games ever.  The first, in 7th grade, a minor league field trip.  The second and third, obligatory I-go-to-school-in-Boston Red Sox games.  The fourth: the local minor league team, the Emerald's.  Do I ever pay attention? No.  Do I make sure I eat hot dogs? Yes.

The blue corn corn dog was the exact same price as my ticket, but totally worth it.  Another producer invited me to the game with her friends because she loves the Ems, and I knew from our newscast that they had started selling corn dogs at the games, so I figured it could be fun.  Our morning anchor came too -- he kept making jokes about how everyone was probably thinking how nice we were to let our dad come with us.

It did end up being pretty fun -- except for the foul balls.  We were sitting in prime territory to get smacked.  Four or five balls came at us -- I was pretty sure I was going to get hit, and end up like Drew Barrymore in Fever Pitch.

My boxes finally, finally came, so my clothes are no longer in piles on my floor.  It feels amazing to not worry that Neville is going to accidentally rip them with his claws, and that they will no longer be extremely wrinkled.  I'm very pleased with the size of my closet too -- it fits everything perfectly, with enough room to hang all my clothes and put in bookshelves for the things I like to fold.  I'll eventually show each room in detail on here for anyone who cares, aka my parents and grandma.  Hey guys!

Right now I'm drinking green tea, eating muffins that I just baked, and snuggling with Neville, a great Saturday night in my (cat lady) book. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tracktown, USA & Midnight Work

This weekend was great.  I adopted Neville on Friday, got to watch two friends compete at NCAA track and field championships on Saturday.... oh wait,  but then I started my overnight shifts on Sunday night...

 It was sooo nice to be able to hang out with a best friend who lives so far away.  We got dinner and hung out on Thursday, then I got to watch her race on Saturday.  It was so cool to finally get to go to the famous Hayward Field, and seeing a friend run instead of just a random track meet made it even more special.

It's only been two days, but I'm starting to get used to my weird schedule...sleep at around 2 pm, wake up around 10pm, work at 11:30 pm until 8am.  This morning (night? I have no idea what to call the different parts of my day) I ate dinner food at 10am, and it didn't feel too weird until I saw the time on the clock.  Work goes by really quickly, and it's very enjoyable.  So far work time and home time feel like two separate days instead of one, but I think that will change with time.  It just seems like so long ago I was waking up last night to head to work, even though the same amount of time has passed that would've if I was home from work at a normal hour.  Mostly the my schedule is leading to wondering about important questions, such as: is breakfast/lunch/dinner determined by the kind of food you eat, or the time of day? Does the "morning" have to mean the am?

I have yet to figure out how to structure my weekends... I need to somehow make it so that I am not sitting awake bored in the middle of the night.

Oh, and the KEZI team got 4th place in a trivia tournament that has been going on every Monday for the past eight weeks!  I've gone the last three times...even last night, before work.  Going to a bar before work is just plain weird.

The trophy sits proudly in the newsroom.

And the final exciting piece of information that I almost forgot: on Friday, I got my first real adult paycheck!  It was only for one week of work so it wasn't much, but I felt very proud of myself.  

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Meet Neville

This is the newest addition to my family/apartment: Neville!  I adopted him last night through West Coast Cat and Dog Rescue, and we are already having so much fun together.

He has barely stopped purring since I brought him home.  I think he's just so excited to have someone to constantly play with him, and have a much bigger space to play in.  Last night I was sitting on my futon, and he would run over and attack my sweatshirt for a bit (yes, I was wearing it), then bound across the room like a springbok and attack my purse on the ground, then look over at me and bound back.  He just did this over and over.  I think he's overwhelmed by it all but loving it at the same time.

Luckily he did calm down for a bit and we watched some Netflix together before he started being a nut again.  I forgot what it's like to have a kitten -- it's been 14 years!  He'll be a lot of work for a bit, but I'll be glad once he's a little more calm and older.  And when he learns what he can and can't do (climb the curtains goes in the can't do category).  I'm also very glad that he's used his litter box and not my floor.  Good work Neville.

He does get confused when I'm not with him for periods of time.  He had to re get used to me when I woke up this morning, and was a little scared when I came back from a quick grocery trip.  It must be because he was used to seeing so many different people.  I'm sure after a few days he'll forget he used to know anyone but me.

It's so nice to have another living thing around to hang out with.  I hope he likes it here with me!

Sunday, June 8, 2014


The picture above pretty much sums up my day.  I did quite a bit of work with my hands, which, although you might not think it, all shows in the picture.

I got up feeling a lot more inspired and ready to do things than I did yesterday.  I was up at at the laundromat shortly after 10am... a far cry from emerging out of bed at noon.  It was my first time at the laundromat -- I sure do miss having a ton of washers and dryers just a short elevator ride away, and for only $1.50.  Adding the cost of laundry into my tight budget wasn't something I'd originally thought of, but thankfully, it's not as expensive as some I've seen. The washers and dryer actually worked well too-- always a plus.

Now the picture finally comes into play.  I painted my coffee table blue, the same blue as the chairs in the kitchen.  It used to be a distressed/antiqued white color, and did not go very well in my living room.  Now it looks really nice (I think... I hope) with my blue and white curtains, and it also helps make the kitchen and living room look more cohesive.

I'm starting to get much more satisfied with the look of my apartment.  I think it helps that I finally brought all of the boxes that were still on the floor to the dumpster, vacuumed, and cleaned the kitchen.  I just need my wall decorations (and a cat, duh) and then it will really look and feel like home.

On to the rest of the picture: the coaster.  Oregon has a reputation for being very green and environmentally friendly, and it definitely lives up to its stereotype.  I was alerted to a place called Bring Recycling at work. It was somehow part of a story that someone was working on, and a coworker explained it to me, saying I should check it out. It's a hard place to explain.  Basically, it's like a warehouse of random household shit.  Buckets of nails, old desks, bathtubs, pipes, lights, doors, windows, mowers... I even saw a toilet.  People donate their old things, and then the center sells it for a fraction of the retail value.  I think it's a non profit, and the money just goes into running the facility and outreach programs about recycling, or something along those lines.  It's definitely a weird place, and yet awesome.  A DIYer's dream.

I went to see if there was anything useful I could find for my apartment.  I ended up finding a bunch of tiles right when I walked in, which I realized would be perfect for coasters.  I had been planning on buying coasters later that day -- I don't want to mess up my new coffee table paint job!

If you can't tell what it says, I wrote "drink me" along the edges of all the coasters, and added some felt to the bottoms so they don't scratch the table.  "Drink me," if anyone is unaware, is written on a bottle in Alice in Wonderland, one of my favorite childhood stories.  It's a nice simple design that even I couldn't really mess up, and I like that it references something important to me.  It makes the coasters unique and special, something I would never have found in a store.

I'm going to have to make a point of going to Bring every so often, because who knows what else could spark some inspiration.  It's just like how I like to stop by thrift stores and antique shops.  To me, it's the modern version of a treasure hunt. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Pulling it Together

I spent today exploring my new city, and doing some small things that are helping to pull the look of my apartment together.

I accidentally got up late, only waking up because my mom was calling to talk before she left for Italy.(A 30th anniversary celebration trip for my parents, how cute is that?) Anyway, started my day later than I wanted to, but it all worked out well.  I set out for the Springfield Library to get a library card and check the place out.  It's oddly in City Hall, not it's own building, so I was worried it would be tiny.  Luckily it's still a pretty good size -- not a huge layout or anything, but they have a ton of shelves, it seems like they squeezed a lot in there.  I picked up a few audiobooks to listen to while I do things around my apartment.  I've been watching/listening to Netflix in the background basically non-stop because otherwise I get lonely, so I figured this would be a much better alternative.

The library is in the downtown area, so I walked around there for about an hour.  It's a very small downtown, just a few blocks.  Mostly some cafes, restaurants, a couple gift shops, and a bunch of antique shops.  One of the workers in an antique shop struck up a conversation with me, and I found out that the downtown used to not be a nice area, but it recently changed -- she mentioned there used to be a lot of streetwalkers.  Definitely glad it's making a turn from that.

I was surprised by the artsiness of the area: I stumbled upon a gallery that touted a variety of art lessons, what looked like some kind of performing arts school, a local stage theater, this sewing room place that appeared to be for classes, an independent fabric/arts store... I even ran into a photography class that was going on.  There were also murals all over the place.  It's definitely a cool little area, and I'm hoping I'll get to see it grow over the years that I live here-- there were a lot of empty store fronts and building that seemed to be going under renovations that I hope will house some more cool businesses.

This afternoon I spent cleaning things up: I finally cleaned off the table in my kitchen.  I'd had a bunch of important papers I needed to find a home for and plants still in their plastic containers from when I first bought them.  I finally gave those guys a new home in a great antique store find from today: 50 cent terracotta pots (I'm planning on returning the shitty plastic Target ones that were much more expensive tomorrow).

 It's nice to have plants around.  We have a lot around my parent's house, but we weren't allowed to have any in the dorms at school.

I also painted the second of my two chairs in the kitchen.  I was putting it off the whole week because it's pretty difficult painting all the spindles on the back of the chair.  I love my new blue chairs.  They add a nice touch of me to the kitchen since I can't really do too much else to the room.

Week One Completed

Well, I did it: I lived through my first week of real-life work!  I feel like I am now officially an adult.

Overall, the week went pretty well.  I've mostly been doing training -- watching and assisting producers create the evening newscasts.  Next week, I think I might fully produce one of those newscasts before I switch to my graveyard shift the following week.

Everyone at work is really nice.  I'm very glad about this since I only did phone interviews, and never met anyone or even saw the workspace.  Quite a few people there are fairly young -- most mid- to late twenties.  There are two hour shows in the morning, and another new producer began training a week before me -- this is her first job too, so it's nice that we can learn together. It's a relief how welcoming and helpful everyone has been.  On my first night, a few reporters invited me and the other new morning show producer to dinner, and then to the weekly bar trivia that people at the station do.

There have been a few downs this week as well.  I've had some issues getting my boxes with half my stuff from UPS, so now I'm not getting them for another week. My apartment is very messy as a result (no hangers yet = clothes all over floor).

I've also been dealing with some weird wasp and/or hornet problem.  I came home Monday night after bar trivia  to find a few dozen dead ones all over my kitchen and living room... the next day, there were a few less, decreasing until I found none yesterday or today (phew).  Neither my landlord nor myself could figure out where they're coming from, or why they were all dead or close to death, but at least *fingers crossed* it seems to be over.

Things I've learned this week, apart from the obvious work stuff: vacuuming up dead and semi-dead wasp-y things is terrifying but can be done; it's easy to get an apartment messy when you aren't concerned about room mates judging you/your stuff getting in their way; professional women wear heels to work because they literally sit all day and therefore their feet barely hurt.

Oh, and I saw The Fault in Our Stars tonight!  One of my favorite books by a favorite author, and the movie adaptation lived up to all of my wildest dreams.  Obviously some stuff was left out, but the best bits were all left in, direct dialogue included.  And yes, I cried a lot.  If you don't cry at this movie, you should probably check for a heartbeat, because there is a strong chance that you're a robot.  I don't think it topped Holes as my favorite book-to-movie adaptation, but it's a close second (don't judge that I have a list of these going in my head -- I can't help it, my mom's a librarian).

I also met some nice girls there who are about my age.  One of them noticed I was there alone and invited me to sit with them.  They included me in conversation before the movie, and then got my name afterwards so they could add me on Facebook.  A weird thing to be happy about, but it's hard to be new somewhere, so whether or not we stay in touch, it was nice that someone reached out.  On a related note, I've been proud of myself for not being awkward/shy in these situations.  Yay, it's almost like I'm a real, fully functioning adult!

Tomorrow is all about cleaning up around my apartment and fantasizing about having a cat.