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Saturday, November 14, 2015

New Tory splurge

So, I'm thinking of splurging on a new bag or pair of shoes from Tory since I've got a gift card. But I'm torn on what to get. 

My last couple of purchases from my favorite designer have been jewelry -- a beautiful cutout serif-T gold ring (sadly no longer available, but similar to this chunky beauty) and a pair of lovely hoop earrings in rose gold.

Right now I'm torn between the Brody small satchel in porcini and the Raleigh snake print wedges. On the one hand, the porcini handbag is a small yet functional size in a perfect fall hue. On the other hand, I've got a weakness for animal prints, and a pair of Tory heels are always perfect for work and play.

Blogger v. WordPress

So, I started this blog on Blogger recently. Eons ago (well, months, actually, but eons sounds way more scientific and cool) I had a totally different blog on WordPress. The following sums up my feelings at the time on WP:
Ooh nifty, look at all the sleek shiny buttons! Hey that’s cool, I can easily follow and comment on other blogs! Just look at all the analytics about my readership! 
Oh, but this dashboard is so confusing…how do I do xyz again? I can’t even find the gosh darn delete button!! Argleblargle this dashboard is a headache!!!
So, yeahhhh. I loved how handy WP was in terms of networking with other bloggers and easily following other blogs, but golly jeepers that dashboard was confusing! (And I do programming for a living, mind you, so gooey sites like this should theoretically not be that hard to use.)
When I decided to end that particular blog for good, it honestly took me a good two or three Google searches to even figure out how to delete a WordPress blog. That, IMHO, is cray.
Hence, when I decided to start a brand spanking new totally different and way more awesome blog recently, I opted for Blogspot/Blogger, since I had heard it was super user friendly. And it is!! I’ve gotta say, I really love how intuitive the entire set up is, from visual customization to posting and editing.
But, but, liking, following, and commenting on other blogs (I.E., the bread and butter of being a good neighborly blogger) isn’t so easy with Blogger. I feel like every time I try to like or comment on a blog I find, I get prompted to sign into WP.
**sigh**
Can’t I just have the best of both worlds? I guess maybe if I get savvy enough at blogging I can. But until then, I’ll stake claim in the same domain on WP and decide which one to use permanently.

I less than three* the NFL

So, for a really long time, I wasn't into football at.all. It wasn't that I proactively disliked anything about it. I just didn't understand it. You see, even though I grew up in the deep South, a.k.a. the Land of Die-hard College Football Fanaticism, my parents weren't into football, nor did either of them attend colleges that even had football programs.

So, I grew up not understanding a gosh darn thing about these Spandex-clad, butt-slapping, war face painting flying pigskin matches. Nevertheless, over the years Dear Boyfriend has graciously taught me the rules of the gridiron a time or two... or ten, since it has seemed to take me many lessons to actually remember the rules.

But, I am delighted to report, I now (mostly) understand this fascinating game of sportball, and I definitely enjoy partaking in the viewing of it!! (That was meant to sound super nerdy, btw.)

Except the schools where I got my bachelors and masters degrees were hoity toity preppy nerdy places where you were considered good at sports if you could actually catch a ball without damaging your pocket protector. So, I'm now really into NFL football, since I don't really have a dog in the NCAA football fight. 

My two NFL teams are the Panthers (keep pounding!!) and the Titans (whatever-their-phrase-is-dang-it-I-should-know-it!!). Which means I am realllllly excited to see them do battle in Nashvegas tomorrow!!! Sadly, I can't make it to the game like I had hoped, since that would involve flying back out after just flying back home from a business trip late last night. 

But I shall watch from the comfort of my couch, huzzah! And I shall be proud of myself for finally, finally, understanding this game and actually really starting to love it. 

*about the title: Blogger apparently doesn't like you to put <3 in your title, because it thinks it's broken HTML code. Silly Blogger.

Now on tumblr :-)

Huzzah! I have now staked my claim in the epic land of tumblr!! 

The tumblr URL girlygeekgirl was already taken -- grr -- though I should probably follow her, since we likely have a bit in common! So I tacked the word blog onto the end of my URL.

There are, like, four whole posts on my tumblr right now. Impressive, I know. But surriously, check it out if you so desire!

Good to be home

Sitting down to dinner at an airport cafe last night, I reflected on how much I love travelling, how lucky I am to be able to do it so much, and how much I love coming home even more.

This particular trip was short but good. I was fortunate to get to spend some quality time with the business partners I normally work with from afar, and to re-visit a city I haven't been to in years.

I woke up early yesterday morning and watched the sun rise over this new city. I hit up a local gym for my run, picked up a copy of the local newspaper, and strolled the crisp autumn streets in the hunt for coffee. These are the everyday things I love to do as a tourist, I think because they're the everyday things I love so much about my life at home. Sunrises shining off of skyscrapers, early morning runs, and, lest we forget, coffee

As much as it was a pleasure to eat out every meal at a new (to me) local restaurant, to jet set around the country, to soak in the local culture somewhere different, I sure did love coming home.

The older I get, the more value I place on the concept of home. I think this is because, as a child, the concept of home was a given, a default, something I took for granted. I live in a house with a mom and a dad in a city with lots of family, and so shall it always be. But, for most people, myself included, this doesn't hold true our whole lives. I live in a new city now, my mom and much other family have passed away, and the concept of home is more transient. 

Sometimes an acquaintance will ask me if I'm going home for Christmas, and I'll give them a quizzical look, thinking, "what does that mean?" Not to get too profound here, but it does make me ask myself, what is home? Logically I am aware that when folks ask me that, they are referring to the city in which I was born and raised, where my dad still lives. But I don't really think of that place as home any more, and I'm only sort of starting to think of my new city as home, since I don't have family here. It's a very bizarre feeling, being in transition between homes like that. 

So, it actually comforted me greatly when on this latest trip I got a little homesick for my current city. Longing to be home isn't necessarily a pleasant sensation, but the fact that I instinctively thought of this place as home made me happy. 

I've been on many trips, vacations and otherwise, since moving to my current city, and this was the first trip where I actually felt like I was coming home when I flew back. And that, my friends, is a good feeling.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Two of my favorite things combined

It's no secret I capital L-O-V-E love Tory Burch. Sure, there are other designers whose pieces I own, and there are certainly some ultra-luxury pieces out there I'd love to sling over my shoulder (ahem, this Herm├ęs Victoria II bag in fire orange). 

But Tory Burch is my girl. Her pieces are timeless, chic, elegant, savvy, yet eternally classic

It's also no secret that I'm a nerd! A mathematical stats nerd, at that. So when I came across this (somewhat dated) article about Tory's analytics-driven client engagement strategies, I was in heaven. 

The author hits the nail on the head -- Tory is amazing at identifying her client base, engaging them through multiple platforms, and adapting to their continuous feedback. Which, to me, are hallmarks of a successful business plan. I also really loved reading some of the stats!!

Tory, if you ever read this, please consider me for a position on your analytics team! I'm highly qualified academically, and I wear at least one piece of yours quite literally every day. Please and thank you!


Thursday, November 12, 2015

The most brilliant business idea EVAR

So tonight my coworkers and I went to the coolest bar ever. When we first strolled up, the neon Atari logo hanging outside caught my eyes.

I had previously not known where we were going, but as soon as we stepped in the door, wall to wall retro gaming consoles greeted us - Right next to a full bar, where all the cocktails had retro pop culture names!

Vodka cranberry in hand (extra lime!), I settled into a nice game of the original Sonic the Hedgehog. I had forgotten that it wasn't until Sonic & Tails that he gained the revving ability, so I died a few times thinking I could rev faster to get away from an enemy. But man, did we have fun!! I only wish I had thought of such a cool business idea!

Random early morning musings

So, I'm up at the crack of dawn (got up at 3:30, to be precise) because I have to catch an early flight for a business trip. So here I am, shockingly feeling wide awake, taking a few minutes to eat my breakfast and blog before I finish packing.

My alarm initially went off at 3 o'clock, but I hit snooze until 3:30, when I finally made myself go on a super early (or is that still middle of the night?) run since the rest of my day will be packed doing businessy business things. 

It honestly wasn't that I was just so sleepy that I needed another half hour of sleep. It wasn't that I wasn't excited to go on my run. It wasn't that I didn't have a number of other things to do, fun or otherwise. I just felt like doing nothing.

And, I often have to remind myself, that's perfectly OK sometimes! I'm guilty of trying to be Super Woman a lot of the time, trying to do everything. So I do admit that sometimes we have to just let ourselves sit there and do nothing.

But I think there's a big difference between doing nothing as a means of mental/physical recuperation, and doing nothing because we're afraid to take that first step to achieve goals we have in life. (Because what if we fail, or what if it's hard?!)

And I think I have been guilty of that second kind of inactivity lately, when it comes to writing. I'm really diligent about other important things in my life, like running and work and relationships, but when it comes to writing, I think I'm just so scared of failure that I find excuses not to do it.

Of course, the fact that I'm sitting here spending time writing this blog about not writing is a bit ironic, don't you agree? But anyway, I've told myself that I shall bring my favorite composition notebook with me on the business trip so that I can make myself actually do some writing on the plane. 

Because, just think of what could have been written in that half hour of non-needed nothingness this morning. Just think of the life that new characters could be gaining in the time that I waste playing Words With Friends on my phone. Just think of the possibilities!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Fall fashion finds

Today I hit up the premium outlet malls here to get a head start on Christmas shopping, and I scored a few awesome fall pieces for myself as well!

Plaid popover, mini skirt, sparkly hair ties, and sparkly necklace

Plaid popover flannel: J. Crew Factory, $41.50, size XS in poppy grove. I normally wear either an XS or XXS at J. Crew, but this flannel top is nicely fitted, so an XS fit well.

Pleated mini skirt: J. Crew Factory, $44.50, size 4 in heather acorn. Again, normally I wear either a 2 or 4 in J. Crew bottoms, but I'm tall (5'9" barefoot), so with a skirt this short, I went with a 4 to keep the length in check, especially since the elastic waist will keep it from slipping.

Hair tie set: Loft Outlet, $12.50, one size. Similar color pack here.

Necklace: Loft Outlet, $34.50, one size. Similar necklace here.

This fake Candy Crush movie clip is everything

Despite the number of obnoxious Facebook requests that pour in every day, I've never played Candy Crush. 


Nevertheless, this fake Candy Crush movie clip from Stephen Colbert and Liam Neeson is flippin' hilarious!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Conquering the unconquerable

So, for about as long as I can remember, I've loved writing. When I was nine I wrote a (very short) book entitled "The Girl from Jupiter."

Can you guess what it may have been about?

Clever you! Indeed, a girl from Jupiter. Specifically, a girl from Jupiter who (mysteriously) has an identical twin sister here on Earth, of whom she is mighty jealous. Jupiter girl (mysteriously) flies a spaceship by herself to Earth, sneakily attacks Earth girl on the playground at school, locks Earth girl in the spaceship, and intends to live happily as an Earthling. Earth girl manages to escape from the spaceship, and the two live happily ever after as twin sisters on Earth. The spaceship becomes a permanent and beloved fixture on the playground.

What's that you say? How was this not a bestseller?! I've no clue either...clearly at such a tender age I already had an enviable knack for gaping plot holes, nonexistent world-building, and anticlimactic story arcs.

Fast forward *cough* a few years, and I've written one novella which is complete &$%#, and have been writing a full length fantasy novel for, oh gosh I dunno, three years now. And I'm still only on like chapter four. But hey, I've got a nifty plot outline and a cool little doodle of a world map on the back of a Starbucks napkin! That counts for something, right?

Anyway, I seem to have it in my head that getting this fantasy novel out of me is somehow unconquerable. Which I realize is a terrible mindset. Hence, blogging about it to remind myself of my limitless potential blah blah blah.

But seriously, all snarkasm aside (and yes I do credit myself with that portmanteau), I really do earnestly believe that attitude is (almost) everything. Or at least that things aren't very easily accomplished if we haven't got an attitude of perseverance and a belief that the seemingly unconquerable is in fact quite conquerable.

Alrighty, off to dream of my fantasy world. 

Fallout 4 day is here!

... Which means I don't personally care, but I'll be heading to GameStop today to pick up Dear Boyfriend's early Christmas present!

Who knows, perhaps I'll watch him play it and actually find it interesting enough to pick it up myself. I've gotta say, if I can play as one of these beauties, I'll be tempted to start a character just for the comedic value! Thanks for the morning lol, Kotaku.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Running hydration accessories

After the super hot and humid Savannah Marathon on Saturday, during which the race organizers apparently ran out of water and Gatorade in many of the aid stations, I've been doing a lot of thinking about race preparedness.

On Saturday I was lucky to have passed the aid stations before they ran out of fluids, but I haven't been so lucky before. My very first half marathon, years and years ago, was also (coincidentally) in Georgia... in August... at night a still blazing hot time of day. 

It was the inaugural half marathon of this particular racing company, who shall remain nameless, and that should have been my first concern. (As Dear Boyfriend likes to say, don't try version 1.0 of anything, and I think that's especially true of long distance races.)

Around mile 8 or so, the fluid station I came to was empty. Out. Nada. Nothing. Zilch. What?! This wasn't a huge race, mind you -- maybe a couple thousand people, max. 

Aid station after aid station, they were out of all liquids, only having GU on hand. And, as much as I swear by GU, we all know that taking one without water to chase it is miserably sweet and will leave you feeling even thirstier than before.

Starting to cramp and really feel the effects of dehydration, I was forced to walk the last few miles of my first half marathon, shaking as I crossed the finish line and lunging for the nearest aid tent. 

"I've learned my lesson," I told myself after that. "From now on, I shall always, always, carry my own hydration on races longer than 10k. Even if a race is supposedly the most well organized and takes place in the coolest, least humid conditions, you just never know."

Paranoid? Perhaps. But safe? Definitely.

And thus, over the years, I've tried out a variety of hydration methods in races, but so far, there are no clear winners.

First, for a trail half marathon I ran shortly after the Georgia debacle, I bought this waist belt water bottle from Nathan. Verdict: the weight distribution was good, and I liked that it held so much sports drink, but it jostled around so much that it was very distracting to run with. Literally, the entire belt kept bouncing up and down wildly around my waist. Granted, I have a small waist, so perhaps I bought the wrong size, but I wanted to wear it around where you'd wear a belt, not around my belly button. 

For many races after that, I used a slew of cheap water bottles -- the kind they give away in swag bags that you don't mind having to toss during a race if it gets too heavy.

Then, earlier this year during a particularly cold half marathon, where I knew I'd need little extra hydration, I bought this handheld bottle, also from Nathan. Verdict: Terrible. There's a small ribbon tab thingy on the inside of the strap that fits around your hand. I think it's there to allow you to adjust the tightness of the carrier, but I could never get it to budge. For the entire half marathon, I kept thinking to myself, "dang, this strap hurts!" By the time I actually took off the handheld water bottle after crossing the finish line, I had a pretty sizable cut on the back of my left hand. Simply from holding a darn water bottle!

So now, after experiencing somewhat of another heat/humidity scare at Savannah (during which I just carried a cheap bottle I got for free), I'm bound and determined to find a hydration pack that holds enough, is easy enough to run with, and won't cut me. 

If I hadn't had two bad experiences with Nathan products in a row, I'd be more than tempted to try out this snazzy pink vest that holds 2 liters.

I've also heard amazing things about CamelBak, so I'm considering this 2 liter vest, although it's a tad pricey.

I'll put up a post once I decide on a new hydration pack!

Am I the only one...

... who's not into Fallout? Like, at all? 

I'm surprising my boyfriend with Fallout 4 when it comes out tomorrow (although he kind of accidentally already found out, lol). And as much as I've tried to get into the franchise in the past, I just.can't.do.it. 

Which somehow seems odd to me, since Skyrim is literally my most favorite game EVER (even slightly above my love affair with Assassin's Creed), and I love RPGs. 

But, somehow, the Fallout universe is just too desolate and too depressing for me, and I always felt like the story moved at a snail's pace.

I'm sure Dear Boyfriend will like Fallout 4, though -- He's been talking about it for long enough, ha!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Critical hit!

I love baking. I love D&D. Therefore, I especially love the looks of this super nerdy D20 cake mold from ThinkGeek:
Critical hit!1!

Every month or so I randomly bake homemade cupcakes to bring into the office, but I wonder what my coworkers would think if I brought in D20 cakes? 

I really ought to stop looking at ThinkGeek before I'm tempted to buy something!

New Tory bag! Eek!

Tory Burch is my absolute favorite splurge store, and as an early birthday gift, my boyfriend gave me this gorgeous Merlot Tory Burch bag.
**drool**
I love how the chain strap is versatile -- it slides easily and quickly from being one long strap to drape over your shoulder, to two shorter straps to hang in the crux of your elbow. 

Tory's Britten collection has had my eye for months now. The cut-out double T logo is just so ... Goldylocks. Not as gigantic as, say, the Thea or the Fleming collections, but not as understated as the York. Not too big, not too small, just right!

I was initially torn between getting the bag in bark (tannish brown, in non-advertising speak) and agate (dark maroon). I settled on the maroon/Merlot colored bag, since it's a perfect fall shade to carry well into winter.