Friday, September 30, 2011

Lauren's In Here Doin' the Dougie

The Style Quo
Gray tank: Old Navy
Black thermal: Walmart
Sweater: Kohl's
Jeans: AE
Boots: DSW
Necklace: Online
Earrings: Kohl's, Christmas present

Today it was a bit chilly. I was definitely happy to get classes out of the way so I could head home. 

I love that you can see the tremendous stack of books I have on my grandmother's antique table behind me. This is only like 5% of my collection. If that. I. am. a. nerd.

Scott and I are supposed to go out to dinner with his parents tonight to celebrate his birthday. He's at work right now so I'm getting caught up on blogging. 

Last night work was really great. My throat hurt from laughing so much and I started busting out crazy dance moves prompting, who Sharon refers to as "Too Tall Tony," to proclaim, "Lauren's in here doing the Dougie!" Everyone was just joyous and full of laughter. My supervisor Tony (yeah we have too many Tonys) was imitating this guy who just walks and dances at the same time. He'll be walking and then just do some crazy move. We call him Osama bin Dancin.' 

It's times like these I'll miss the most.

Bitch Slapped by a Belt Loader

The Style Quo
Dress: AE
Sweater: AE
Boots: Kohl's (sale)
Sunglasses: Forever 21
Earrings: Kohl's, Christmas present
Necklace: Online

Thursday I was just having a really hard day. I ended up crying on my way home from work to sad songs and I felt like I just couldn't get my mind to turn off. Scott was being really nice about everything and telling me how great my outfit looked because he knows how (through this blog and all) I try my best to look put-together. 

I get anxiety attacks whenever a big change in my life is coming. I've been at UPS for 2 and 1/2 years. This is the longest I've ever stayed at a job. I've known some people from the very beginning and others I've gotten attached to and have formed really strong relationships with. Although I'll never miss being outside in the cold, rain, heat, wind, horrible jet fuel smell ever again I will miss the people as well the nature of the job that allows us all to be a little family unit. I've said goodbye to many people I've befriended over the years and it's always been hard on me. Now that it's all on my shoulders, I'm having withdrawals to habits, routines, knowing my job like the back of my hand. It's just been hard dealing with many of the thoughts that replay in my mind over and over again. I feel torn in so many different directions and my heart is aching in the strangest way. 

On a side note, I got smacked in the face with the handrail of a belt loader Thursday night. 

This is a belt loader. When the belt was raised in this position, the rail slipped down smacking my face. It all happened so fast but my right arm took the brunt of it and I guess by reflex, I turned my head and rolled with the motion. I truly thought my glasses were going to be snapped in two and that my face was going to be messed up. Luckily, I just had a bit of a red mark on my cheek that went away and a bruise along my upper arm. Maybe this is God's way of telling me to get out while I can.

Even though I'm feeling a little sad, I'm hoping to turn my experiences with my coworkers into a story. Their personalities are all so unique and I never want to forget a single one of them (okay, perhaps a few). I already have a seed of an idea and keep adding to it each day. Only fools believe writing isn't cathartic.

I can hasz cat?

The Style Quo
Top: Goodwill, $2.50
Jeans: AE
Necklace: Online
Socks: Maggie's Organics

On Wednesday I was excited to don my Goodwill find--I'm such a sucker for tie-dye. I'm also obsessed with Maggie's Organics socks. They're seriously the best socks I've ever worn in my life. They're breathable, comfy, and warm. I just can't even describe how it compares to normal socks which seem to get starchy-feeling after washing. Anyway.

Mom and I had a lot of running around to do--allergy shots, buying dog food/getting distracted by kittens, stopping at Kohl's because my mom had coupons and such to redeem. I was supposed to have a job interview but it got canceled. And I'm really hoping it gets rescheduled soon because I'm unemployed in a few days. 

My mom bought Jet a Louisville cardinals (my alma mater) hoodie. I tried to talk her out of it because I tend to think animal clothing is ridiculous and arbitrary. But I actually think he likes it because he kept cuddling into a ball... the fleece is really soft so I'm hoping that this poor dog actually likes it to some degree. Because every time I see him I laugh.

At Feeder's Supply (where this dog sweatshirt came from) my mom and I spent a lengthy amount of time looking at the kittens and cats. We're both allergic to cats and have always been averse to them for the most part. But there was this sweet orange tabby named Petey and a black cat, who kept vying for my attention named Josie. My mom and I both loved Petey and even went so far as to ask if we could take him out and how much the cats cost. I actually fell in love with Josie and wished I could get her and rename her Salem. Because I think black cats are spooky cool. My mom disagreed. I think she's just superstitious. 

Lace & Fringe

On Tuesday, I got to give Scott his birthday present.

I got him the complete series of Keeping Up Appearances. I'm pretty sure he was totally excited. 

The Style Quo
Top: Modcloth
Sweater: Aerie for AE
Jeans: AE
Fringe boots: Target
Earrings: Kohl's, Christmas present

I also put in my notice to UPS. I quit Tuesday, October 4th.

A Case of the Mondays

So I'm taking a shower Monday morning and my mom comes running into my bathroom, opens the edge of my shower curtain and sticks a turtle in my face. "Look!"

Apparently this little brute was in our yard. Once I got dried off, I came to examine our friend. Turtles usually retreat back into their shells when approached but I held my hand out to him and his neck kept craning to reach for me. I petted him with my finger and he started moving his arms and legs like he was trying to swim towards me. I wish we could keep him but I kind of have a problem holding onto things that rightfully belong to nature. So release him we did.
I didn't get much sleep Sunday night because I was studying for my big Greek mythology test. I wore my Maggie's Organic cotton tie-dye socks for good luck and it's fitting I did because that test was hard! I didn't know half the stuff on it and I was trying to recall all of these crazy long Greek names that all sound alike. Awful. But I found out I got an a B which makes me happy because I had doubts that I did well at all. My teacher handed me back the test and said, "You'll get better." It encouraged me for sure because she said a lot of people weren't happy with their grades. A B is respectable and I want to do well for her. Overall, it was just a case of the Mondays and I just needed to crawl back into bed and hope Tuesday was better.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A-Z: Happy Birthday Scott! Edition

I saw this posted on Ashley's awesome blog and felt like it would be a perfect time to post it here! My boyfriend Scott's 23rd birthday is today and I thought it would be fun for you all to get to know us both a little better! Happy birthday baby, I love you!

Age: 22
Bedsize: full
Chores that you hate: mopping the floor
Dogs: a sheltie named Jet; I'd one day love to have a beagle
Essential start to your day: opening the blinds
Favorite color: plum purple
Gold or Silver: white gold
Height: 5'7''
Instruments you play: vocal cords, a wee bit o' keyboard
Job title: package handler
Kids: 0
Live: Louisville, KY
Mother’s Name: Laura
Nicknames: Laur, Ace, Pinky (I usually don't tell people that one)
Overnight hospital stays: perhaps 22 years ago after I traveled out of the womb
Pet peeves: ignorance, prejudice
Quote from a movie or tv show: Rory's graduation speech, but mostly this-- "As she guided me through these incredible eighteen years, I don't know if she ever realized that the person I most wanted to be was her." It makes me cry every time.
Right or Lefty: right-handed
Siblings: none
Time you wake up: between 10-11 on weekdays, later on weekends
Underwear: I like to go shopping for this once yearly with Julie--it's incredibly less awkward with her than anyone else
Vegetable you hate: not a huge fan of onions or beets
What makes you run late: trying to be a perfectionist
X-Rays You’ve Had: dentist, chiropractor (i think?), chest X-rays for asthma
Yummy food you make: home-made pizza and desserts, especially my chocolate chip cookies
Zoo Animal: elephant & owl

Age: 23
Bedsize: full
Chores that you hate: mowing the lawn
Dogs: Mugsy
Essential start to your day: glass of water
Favorite color: green
Gold or Silver: silver
Height: 5'9''
Instruments you play: guitar
Job title: Kroger Produce Clerk
Kids: 0
Live: I choose to live?
Mother’s Name: Karen
Nicknames: Scotty, Jester Giovanni
Overnight hospital stays: 0
Pet peeves: when someone excessively taps on a hard surface
Quote from a movie or tv show: Coach Carter, “What is your deepest fear?” “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure…”
Right or Lefty: right
Siblings: 1
Time you wake up: 8AM
Underwear: Fruit of the Loom
Vegetable you hate: carrots
What makes you run late: laziness
X-Rays You’ve Had: 6
Yummy food you make: glazed pork tenderloin
Zoo Animal: elephant

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Weekend So Far...

1. Watched Bridesmaids with Mama. I thought it was a pretty good movie. It makes me like Kristen Wiig more.

2. I think I have a new favorite band! --Okkervil River.

3. This isn't really a weekend thing but I have been obsessing over Jane Iredale's Disappear Concealer in Light. I have never found a concealer that A) actually covers or B) doesn't cake. This concealer blends so well and hides all of my horribleness like zits and dark under eye circles. And it has a nice healing feel to it-- there's some kind of healing crap in there that treats pimples and heals skin. I always feel so fresh and clean in it! It's on the pricier side but totally worth it.

4. Gotta study for my big Greek mythology test. Blergh.

Fall TV Premieres

I'm not usually a big watcher of TV. I prefer to get a season of a show, skip the commercials, and not be left hanging at the end. But I've noticed that this fall a lot of shows are branching out of the cop, law, CSI genre (which is so tired). Here's what I think so far.

New Girl, Tuesdays 9PM FOX

It's not surprising that I loved this pilot because I am a sucker for any and all things Deschanel. I love Zooey and I love her sister Emily in Bones. The main character Jess is just so cute, relatable, and funny. I laughed out loud numerous times and my heart melted for her room mates. So sweet.

The Playboy Club, Mondays 10PM NBC

Awkward? Maybe. Although I hear it didn't do very well ratings-wise I felt surprisingly drawn in. I'm not a Playboy culture fan in the least but I thought the idea for this show was interesting. It takes place in the 60's so I naturally loved the costumes. The story is nothing like I expected... murder in the first five minutes? Mayhem! I feel really awkward for admitting that I actually liked this pilot but I did. There. I said it. 

Up All Night, Wednesdays 8PM NBC
Maybe I just like all the horribly cheesy shows? Sue me. I love Will Arnett and Christina Applegate, especially together in this comedy. The second episode featured them trying to be the cool neighbors and the subtlety of the humor had me chuckling. 

Revenge, Wednesdays 10PM ABC

It was my mother who was interested to see this show. I'm glad I decided to watch it with her though because it was better than I expected. Emily VanCamp is so beautiful and innocent-looking that it's hard to imagine how cunning and vindictive she is. And knowing that, you'd think you would hate her. But she's seeking revenge to vindicate her father's death--it's almost noble in a completely fictional-TV-sort-of-way. The setting is beautiful as well.  

I'm also excited to see Pan Am & Hart of Dixie. Pan Am's plot is pretty obvious but Hart of Dixie is supposed to be about a successful doctor in New York who accepts a job in Alabama. She's culturally shocked and has to adjust to her new life. I love Rachel Bilson and have had withdrawals since The OC so it will be nice to see her again. 

What are your favorite new shows?


Lauren does this really fun thing called Tumblr Thursdays where she puts up her favorite images from Tumblr that week. I thought I'd share my top 5 with you today. For photo credit, visit me here. I'm not sure if I'll make this a consistent thing but I like it for now. There's something about a collection of images that can express what you feel so much more clearly than words. I guess that's where the old cliche comes from.

1. Beautiful fall tree. I love the blue/orange juxtaposition. 
2. Speaks for itself.
3. Bette Davis is gorgeous. Love her.
4. Lytton Strachey and Virginia Woolf. I LOVE Bloomsbury!
5. My favorite flowers.

Confessions--Usher Style

After catching up on Busy Bee Lauren's blog it gave me the courage to share my story with you here. I've read the entirety of Lauren's blog and she is the person who inspired me to create a blog of my own. Through the years, I feel like I've gotten to know her and she is truly a beautiful person.

Lauren has recently been candid about her battles with depression. It seemed so strange to me--she seems so happy; she's living a charmed life! But then I stopped myself because that's exactly who I am. I am a girl with the world at my feet and I have a lot going for me. I have a supportive family, boyfriend, and friends. I smile all the time. I'm positively goofy even. But there was a time in my life when all of that was just what people saw. At home, I was someone entirely different. I was the girl foregoing a shower for a week, watching TV all day in my bed, eating entire bags of salty snack mix. I didn't want to do my favorite things anymore. And it made me feel guilty and like a really bad person.

Growing up, I wasn't the most popular kid. In grade school, kids told me my dad was probably going to die in a plane crash. I almost developed an ulcer because I was constantly worrying about him. I also belonged to a group of friends who excluded me and made me feel inferior. One of my "best friends" told everyone my parents couldn't afford me a new lunch because I'd used the same one for years. Nobody would sit by me. I remember on the playground at daycare, the girls were being mean to me so when they were unaware, I took some gravel and let it fall through the grates on the playground equipment. They all ran away screaming and told on me. Again, they warned everyone not to play with me.

In middle school, I met an angel of a girl named Jessica. We instantly became best friends. After she moved, our mutual friends laughed at me for not being able to walk across the street by myself. My parents wouldn't let me because a little boy had been hit by a car riding his bike to school. I pretty much kept to myself and focused on my school work.

In high school, I moved to Illinois. It was worse than anything I could've ever imagined. I used to cry in the shower before school because no one could tell; it would just wash away. No one would talk to me. Luckily it got better and I made friends with Kelsey, who is still my best friend to this day. I couldn't have made it out without her, Ruth, and Julia.

The strange thing was--even though I was so sad, I was still such a happy person, always looking to find the good in everything. If no one would talk to me on the bus, that was okay because it gave me time to read. I dreamed that one day I would become something and it would all go away. I was able to manage my feelings. Until early this year.

After working at UPS for two years and taking 16 credit hours, I about lost it. I know I've talked about UPS in the past, but for those who are new to this concept let me explain again. I work in the air district portion of UPS. This means I am outside, rain, shine, blizzard, or monsoon unloading and loading airplanes. I'm constantly surrounded by the smell of jet fuel, de-ice fluid, and smoke. It kills my lungs. It gets so cold in the winter that I curl up in a little ball and cry praying for it all to be over soon. Why in the heck would I work here? Well, it pays the entirety of my tuition plus salary. It sucks but I always thought, 'I'll get through this and it will be one of those things I look back on and laugh at.' But this year was different. I couldn't control it. My grades were slipping no matter what I did to stay on course and the weather just seemed to be purposefully ruining me. I hate walking out of there with five layers of wet, mushy, cold clothing on, hearing my socks squeak against my boots dripping in water. The cold in just so numbing and when it rains, I completely shut down as a human being. I will not talk to anyone unless it is to yell at them.

The bright side of the story is that I went to my doctor to get help. It seemed to be working for awhile and I found out I was going to London for two weeks to study abroad and I had received a $5,000 scholarship contingent on the fact that I quit UPS. When I read the email confirming me I'd won, I cried tears of joy and thanked the Lord. I would be able to quit UPS September 30th, 2011.

Hey! That's really soon. Well, the bad thing is that I need another job to pay for my expenses before I can quit. I've applied 6 places over a month to no avail. I'm going to try to apply more this weekend but it's just been a really painful and arduous process for me. For one thing, I realize I will be giving up a good salary and part of my tuition will have to be covered by loans. And I'm just afraid that I'm going to get a job I hate more than UPS. And it will make me even more sad. But I can't even get an offer from ONE place. So it's not like I can be choosy. I'm desperate at this point and I know I'll be at UPS at least into October. It just keeps getting colder and wetter and my will to be happy is crumbling.

This has been heavy on my heart for awhile now but it came full-blast Thursday night. The boys and girls on my 'crew' are supposed to rotate amongst themselves each night who drives equipment. Ideally, each person only drives once. Well, as luck has it, I usually get stuck with most or all of the responsibility every night because one girl never shows up (and when she's there, she doesn't do her share) and the other has safety meetings and misses most of the night. It poured Thursday and it dropped to around 50 and was really windy making it feel like it was more like 40 outside. I shivered in my rain gear as the wind splashed water droplets onto my glasses. And the real kicker--it rained the hardest of the night when I was on my own operating the K-loader. Everyone else was dry within the safety of the plane. I couldn't feel my hands (or my soul). I was doing that whole crying-thing again and I didn't get out of bed until 4 the next day, skipping all of my classes. And let me tell you, it really frosts my cupcakes to have to miss class on account of something like this--which has happened multiple times.

See that yellow thing on the right? That's a K-loader. It's totally like this except we're in the dark. Oh right, because we work third shift. 

I hate working here. Because I'm totally girly and look at those vests. And I hate not being able to sleep in my warm bed at night. And getting enough sleep. 
To wrap this all up, I'm doing so much better than I was. I'm just struggling with this job search thing and I don't think I'll ever really feel better until I find one.

Vampires in 15 B.C.

I can pretty much tell you that nothing happened this Wednesday. Except that it rained and a guy in my Greek mythology class told me I had a really nice trench coat on. Weird. But thanks. Thursday the 22nd (the day these pics are from!) started out great but ended up disastrous. More on that later...

The Style Quo
Dress: Kohl's 
Sweater: Aerie by AE
Earrings: Kohl's, Christmas present
Necklace: Online
Boots: DSW (these bad boys are so comfortable--they tromped all around London)
Ring: AE, Julie and my matching friendship rings
Bracelet: Victoria & Albert Museum, London--Julie also has a matching one!

Thank goodness for wonderful people like these. Thursday during school was great. I had a terrific lunch (at 'our' table in McAlister's). The turkey melt and potato soup were excellent and class seemed to breeze by. Julie and I are in the same creative writing class (as we always have been) and we were work-shopping a piece by this older dude with crazy hair who made a mysterious drug reference early on in the class that made our professor proclaim, "What the hell does that mean?" Anyway, he wrote a 22-page story about a vampire in 15 B.C. That is all. At the end he let the class know that it was the first chapter to his novel and he was so happy we liked it. But see, that's the thing--I'm not sure we did. Except for the people that interjected that vampires have existed "like since Egypt--according to Anne Rice." Okay, I didn't know we could have a factual debate about things THAT DON'T EXIST. But whatevs. To each his own.

P.S. What a handsome shot of Scott! Hubba hubba.