Who I Am: Still a Child

Our bed doesn’t have a headboard. I feel like this is the last thing holding me back from being a full-on adult. I send out Christmas cards – how very adult of me. I have multiple sets of mixing bowls to accommodate all the home cooking I do now – mega adult-like. I bought a La-Z-Boy recliner – OK, that might be more than adult. Not like inappropriate, but like geriatric.

Our master bedroom decor has always been pathetic. We still have IKEA dressers and nightstands. I actually love them, so I’m not annoyed that we have them. But I’m confident that as an adult, I’m supposed to have something classier than MALM dressers. I kind of have a love/hate relationship with them. I hate them because I’ve had them for FOREVER but I love how they look and function. Plus, they were way less expensive than what I’d find at most stores, and I prefer this style to what’s available at most furniture stores. We don’t give house tours that include our bedroom, so no one knows. Whoops, now all of you know and I’m sure you’re judging me hardcore for it. You’re probably more likely to judge me for my overuse of words like hardcore and mega. Oh well.

Dan and I have no wall art on the walls. In fact, the only wall art currently up in our house is a weird Ducks Unlimited painting that Dan randomly hung in our bathroom. I wouldn’t describe it as my style, but I also don’t care, so if that’s what he wants, go for it. Even when we lived in our modern condo, we had zero wall hangings. I think it has something to do with housing never feeling permanent. I’m still too close in age to my annual apartment moves, where I never lived anywhere for more than a year and never hung anything since I’d have to fill in the nail holes (with toothpaste, of course) to get my security deposit back.

I also don’t have any trust in my decorating taste. Even though most stores have nothing but super adorable options — seriously, places like Target, TJ Maxx and Home Goods are making it nearly impossible to do a bad job of decorating — I would still somehow pick the worst items, or combine good items with the wrong things and make a bunch of cute pieces look ridiculous.

Our house is also in a state of renovation. It’s hard to decorate when I plan to change every room in the near future anyway. However, “near future” seems to be a relative term for me, that could mean a few months or a few years. Once our family room is finished (maybe by the middle or end of the summer?), I will start decorating. Maybe the excitement from finishing that room will inspire me to tackle a few others.

I don’t know how everyone else does it. I’m going to assume they are all just more adult-ish than me and want their home to feel more, well, homey. Maybe everyone else started accumulating cute home decor in college or immediately after college? I seriously have nothing except for stacks and stacks of picture frames I bought throughout college. And only a few of those frames actually have pictures in them. I don’t think I have a single picture frame with picture anywhere on display in the house. Am I missing some kind of decorating gene?

Life This Week: Fresh Snow, National Puppy Day, Bauble Bar

There’s almost nothing prettier than fresh snow. However, I typically find it prettier in November and December rather than late March.

fresh snowfall | whatlindseylikes

Thankfully the temps are warm enough that most of the snow will be gone in a few days. Even more to be thankful for, I’ll be in sunnier, warmer San Diego while the snow melts in Minnesota. Yay for strategically located work conferences!

Dig and I spent a little time this morning checking out the snow from our windows. Dig likes to check the backyard for any deer that might be wandering through. No deer today.

fresh snowfall and dig | whatlindseylikes

Also, it’s National Puppy Day, so of course I had to share a few additional photos of Dig.

dig the maltipoo | whatlindseylikes

dig the maltipoo | whatlindseylikes

dig the maltipoo | whatlindseylikes

And one final thing to be excited about — aside from a sunny, warm trip to San Diego — is this delivery from Bauble Bar! I’ve been looking for a major black statement necklace and I think I’ve finally found one. I’ll share photos of my purchases — and what I’m packing for my trip — later!

bauble bar delivery | whatlindseylikes

What I Hate: Disappointing Ice Cream

Dan has an incredibly sweet tooth. I’d always been a fan of some sweets, but typically refused to try most so that I’d never be tempted to eat them. After living with Dan for so many years, I started caving over the last year and have tried nearly every cookie and treat Dan brings into the house. Last summer, I was eating a Nestle Drumstick a day. A DAY!!!

I eventually accepted the reality that a drumstick a day will keep the skinny jeans away. And while I’m always up for buying new clothes, I didn’t want it to be because my existing clothes didn’t fit. I stopped buying the drumsticks, but would still buy a thing of ice cream every so often.

I’m pretty boring when it comes to ice cream. Your basic chocolate flavor is my favorite, but I’m a little particular about the taste of the chocolate. Not all chocolate ice creams are the same. It seems like the only one I really like is the Walmart brand. There’s some kind of weird after-taste for me when I try almost any other plain chocolate ice cream, especially the Target brand. I’m sure it’s something messed up with my taste buds. Either way, I’m not even tempted to get ice cream if I’m not at Walmart. (I should mention that I usually only buy the store brands because I’m cheap.)

However, our nearest grocery store has been running a buy-one-get-one-free for Kemps ice cream lately. When that happens, it means that instead of just basic ice cream, I have the opportunity to try a special mix, like something with caramel and fudge and chocolate chips and anything else that might sound appealing. Store brands have varieties of ice cream too, but they’re almost never good and almost never have more than an extremely small amount of the special toppings included.

I’m even doubting the more expensive brands on their inclusion of special toppings now, but that’s not my point.

Anyway. Whenever our nearby grocery store has a special offer on a name-brand ice cream, Dan and I will pace the ice cream aisle, thinking intently about what flavor to try. I should point out that it’s not like we’re saving $400 on this ice cream. We’re saving somewhere between $3-6. But somehow it seems like a really big decision that deserves our deepest consideration.

What I’ve learned is that I really don’t like other flavors of ice cream. The problem is that I always forget which ones I’ve tried and how I felt about them. I keep buying the same kind and after taking my first bite, remembering that I’ve had it before and that I don’t like it at all.

Lindsey, how could you not like a flavor of ice cream?

It’s not that it’s bad or foul or something. It’s just that ice cream is a lot of calories. I’m not a calorie counter, but I try to reserve calorie splurges for things that are really worth it, like stuffed crust pepperoni pizza and Mountain Dew. When I eat ice cream that I don’t even like, it’s such a disappointment in the waste of calories. I would say it’s a waste of money, but I know that Dan will gladly eat it eventually.

To try to end this disappointing ice cream madness, I’ve started keeping track of the ones I like and dislike on my phone. So far my “like” list is pretty short, with inclusions like Walmart chocolate and Kemps mint/chocolate chip. My “dislike” list is quite a bit longer…

I was originally going to take photos of all the flavors I didn’t like, but then a brand might change their packaging. Plus, it would be really hard to organize based on the look of an ice cream. So making a basic list that I’ll keep on my phone sounds like the best course of action. And finding the best course of action for my list of un-likeable ice cream flavors is probably something to make a priority.

Speaking of treats, here are a couple shots of Digger with one of his favorite rawhide treats. These would go on my “dislike” list, although they distract him for a really long time, so I guess I’d have to move them to the top of my “like” list. Digger loves it when I eat ice cream because I always let him lick the bowl when I’m done. Sometimes even the spoon!

digger | whatlindseylikes

What I Hate: Being Uncomfortable

As I mentioned in my last post, I went to a wedding this past weekend. The wedding went off perfectly — everyone in the wedding looked stunning (none more so than the bride, of course). Seriously, this bride is the happiest person and is so unbelievably in love with her husband — it’s adorable. She also has one of the best laughs I’ve ever heard. Happiest person + finding the love of her life + her wedding day = lots of opportunities to hear her laugh.

Overall, I think weddings are fun: I love watching two people who are over-the-moon in love celebrate with their family/friends surrounding them. But with a wedding comes a reception, and I hate receptions.

“What?! Lindsey, how could you hate receptions?! It’s just a lot of dancing and having fun!” I’m imagining you asking.

That right there is why I hate receptions: Dancing and fun. Ha, OK, “fun” is a relative term, so it’s not that I hate fun, I just don’t associate dancing with fun. I guess the more accurate reason I hate receptions is just the dancing part. I am so unbelievably self-conscious about my dancing. I don’t know where this came from, but it’s always been a part of me. I don’t remember ever attempting to dance and make a complete fool out of myself (maybe I blocked it from my memory?). Clearly I don’t have a problem putting myself out there since I post photos of myself on this blog whether the outfit is flattering or not, and I write crazy-long posts that could be overly wordy and boring. So making a fool of myself in that way is something I’m open to. But there’s something about dancing that is positively terrifying.

To put it in perspective, I would rather give speeches in front of hundreds of people every day than to have to dance in front of anyone. (Maybe Toastmasters really is working?!)

My friends from college can certainly attest to my fear of dancing. When we went out on weekends, I was typically the one standing stiffer than a board on the dance floor while my friends enjoyed themselves to the fullest. I usually just told my friends to do their thing without me while I sat at a table. This of course would invite guys (total strangers, mind you) to my table to ask super helpful questions like, “What are you so boring and un-fun that you won’t dance?” and “Why do you have to be so uptight?” and a bunch of other things that make a self-conscious person even more self conscious. I’m sure, deep down, these people were trying to get me to understand that it doesn’t really matter if you look like a total idiot on the dance floor — no one really cares. But I totally judge people who are bad dancers, so why would I think that others aren’t doing the exact same thing?

With public speaking, I have full confidence in myself that I can eventually do really well with it. Dancing is something I’m fully confident that I’ll never be good at.

So at the wedding last night, one incredibly intoxicated guy kept trying to coerce me onto the dance floor. He definitely wasn’t hitting on me — I want to make that totally clear. I think he just wanted to help me look like I was having a good time. Unfortunately, even though his intentions may have been good, it just made me that much more defensive about not wanting to dance. Since I wasn’t drinking, I wasn’t holding anything in my hands, so I also had my arms crossed.

I totally get that crossing your arms is a major no-no when it comes to positive body language, but seriously, I didn’t know what else to do with my arms!

So my refusal to dance, coupled with my crossed arms, made me an even greater target for the drunkard.

“Why do you have to stand with you arms crossed? Why don’t you try to have a good time? Just come dance for awhile!”

Can’t we all just accept that some people hate dancing and they aren’t going to magically open up to it (at the age of 31 to someone who isn’t even a friend) if they hadn’t already opened up to it in their early 20s with super awesome and supportive friends? We all have our strengths, and being fun at a reception is just not one of mine. Making small talk at dinner? I’m your girl. Judging people about basically anything? Count me in. But receptions are just not my thing.

I should mention that Dan was never around when this guy was pestering me. I don’t think Dan would have done anything since I can clearly take care of myself (ha, in one totally defensive way after another). Dan knows the guy, and knows he was drunk out of his mind, so there wouldn’t have really been any need for Dan to step in. It was mostly a matter of coming up with anything I could say to make him leave me alone.

Oh, one girl was trying to get me to take off my cardigan and “show a little skin.” Here’s my apparently mega prude, uptight outfit (minus the snow on my shoes):

winter wedding | whatlindseylikes

I’m assuming the anti-dancing, arms crossed, fully clothed thing was sending a pretty un-fun vibe in her opinion. I feel like I was everyone’s pet project. To get her to leave me the F alone, I eventually said, “Oh, have you ever done cupping at an acupuncturist’s office? Well, I just did on Friday (which is true!) and now my back has bruises all over it, so it would look totally disgusting if I took this sweater off.” I’m sure she was thinking, “Did this chick seriously just blurt out her cupping experience?!” It was one awkward thing after another. To top it off, I’m pretty sure I threw in a line about someone making a call to domestic services if they saw my back without the story.

I can’t emphasize enough how much better I am at dinner parties than I am at actual parties.

To any of my friends whose receptions I left almost immediately after the meal: It was solely to avoid awkward situations like this. I couldn’t possibly support you or love you more than I do, I just truly hate dancing and any situation where people are going to make me feel even less fun than I already do in situations like that.

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What I Learned: Don’t Tailgate

I didn’t get in a car accident — let me start by saying that.

And I typically recommend avoiding all forms of road rage, tailgating being one of them.

I was driving home from dinner Wednesday night. I had met a couple friends at a restaurant that was maybe 10 miles away, which isn’t that far, but enough to travel on several highways between the restaurant and my house. I’d safely made it across two of the highways and was exiting onto the third when a person (I’m assuming he was a guy; I have no real reason to assume this — that’s just my stereotypical assumption) in an old Bronco swerved in front of me to make the same exit I was taking. This guy was driving probably 10-15 mph under the speed limit, so he could have easily waited for me to fly by him (ha, OK, I was seriously only going 3 mph over the speed limit). Anyway, he continued being 10-15 mph slower than he needed to be while taking the exit ramp and then merging onto the next highway.

I wouldn’t say I was totally tailgating, but I was definitely closer than the two-second-rule of spacing.

Once we get onto the highway and it’s safe to pass, I do so, and I do so quickly because I’m so annoyed with him that I want to put as much distance between us as possible. When it comes time for me to exit the highway and head onto residential roads, I can see that he’s doing the same thing. “No big deal,” I think. This area of town is mostly residential and tons of people take this same route to access all the houses. When I take my next turn, he does too. I again try to reassure myself that I’m entering an even more densely populated area, so chances are still high that he’s heading toward a house nearby.

I should also say that the distance between us was enough that he was about a block behind me, but his headlights were fairly distinctive, so I could tell — even at a distance — who it was.

I’m finally nearing my own neighborhood. He’s quite a ways behind me at this point, so I feel like I’m in the clear. As I enter my neighborhood, I decide to go a little slower, just to see if he’s still following me. I also wanted to know because I planned to drive past my own house if I realized he was still following me.

HE WAS STILL FOLLOWING ME.

“OK, you live in a big neighborhood — he could live around here or be visiting someone,” I told myself. So when I neared my house, I just kept driving. I went all the way through my neighborhood, then turned onto a busy road and then turned back into my neighborhood. I saw him turn onto the same busy road to follow me, so I immediately called Dan to tell him what was happening.

I’m lucky it was horribly cold that night and that no one was out and about walking around on the streets. I was shaking because I was so nervous, while trying to recount the situation to Dan on my cell phone and peering in my rear-view mirror repeatedly to see where my follower was.

This time when I turned back into my neighborhood, he didn’t follow. I drove really slowly before getting to my house, again to confirm that he was not following me and therefore wouldn’t know where I lived. I opened the garage door, pulled my vehicle into the stall faster than I’ve ever done it, closed the garage door while I was still finalizing my position, then ran into the house once I shut off the car. I don’t think I stopped shaking until after I’d fallen asleep. Which took forever, by the way, because I started running through scenarios of what I would have done if he had followed me into my neighborhood a second time.

Dan’s recommendation was to keep driving, and this time head toward the police station, which is about a mile away. Dan said he would have gotten in his truck to follow me and the creepster, while I would call 911 to explain the situation and hope they’d welcome me into their parking lot and chase off the bad guy. What I was actually hoping would happen is that I’d call 911 en route, and the 911 dispatcher would tell me there just happened to be a cop even closer to where I was and I could just pull up right next to him and he’d save me. I went through a bunch of other scenarios where hiccups in my plan occurred and I had to think of other solutions, but this post isn’t about how paranoid I am, it’s about learning a lesson.

So my advice is that even if you’re following a SUPER ANNOYINGLY SLOW driver, there’s no use in tailgating (or closely following) them. They won’t speed up, they won’t feel bad for cutting you off or preventing you from going the speed you want to go. I would almost tell you that the decrease in speed probably won’t make a difference in the grand scheme of life, but I highly believe in wrong place/wrong time situations, so it would be hypocritical of me to say that any delay — even something between 5 and 90 seconds — is irrelevant.

Instead, your tailgating/close-following behavior will probably just set them off, and they might choose to follow you through multiple residential neighborhoods on a dark, frigidly cold night and scare the crap out of you.

I’ve learned a valuable lesson. I hope you have too. Don’t tailgate. Oh, and don’t drive annoyingly slow.

What I Did: Survived the Week

How was everyone’s week? Is anyone else as relieved as I am that it’s finally the weekend?

As I mentioned in a recent post, I’m slowly going broke with chiropractor and acupuncture appointments. While I think there have been some benefits to the treatments, headache relief hasn’t been one of them, which is the main reason I went. On the plus side, we’ve figured out what’s causing my headache pain. I have a vertebrae or two in my neck that prefer to be out of place because I have crazy, disgustingly tight muscles in my shoulders. Apparently I carry all my stress in my shoulders, and I’m apparently a very stressed person. I truly don’t consider myself to be all that stressed. I guess my shoulders are taking all of it!

After multiple chiropractic visits a week, I’ve started to decrease my visits with the intention to wean myself down to once a month or less. My chiropractor said she’s done what she can and it’s kind of up to my neck to get with the program. Well, and me making an effort to have better posture. She transitioned me to her acupuncturist, who started out with the typical acupuncture treatment. But we have quickly realized that my woes aren’t totally treatable with needles. It was time for the next Eastern medicine technique.

Cupping.

Don’t know what cupping is? Well, if you watched the most recent season of the CBS show The Amazing Race, you might remember the episode (episode 9) where contestants had to get a number of Eastern medicine treatments, one of which was cupping, during one of their challenges. You can watch this video clip right around the 14- to 18-second mark for an idea of what cupping is.

When my acupuncturist first mentioned it, I was TERRIFIED. All I could think of was the blood-curdling screams and flowing tears from the Amazing Race. I eventually told her how terrified I was after she had spent several minutes telling me how perfect the treatment would be for my shoulder tightness. To try to ease my fears, she quickly demonstrated the procedure on her arm, and then did it on my arm too. Here’s what happens: She soaks a cotton ball in alcohol, holds it with a pair of skinny tongs, lights it on fire, quickly puts it into a glass jar and pulls it out, then places the glass jar against the skin. The lack of air left in the jar after the fire has done its job turns the jar into a vacuum, so it sucks your skin (and your muscles under the skin) into the jar. She didn’t leave it on my arm for more than a few seconds, but I was able to experience the feeling, which was nowhere near as painful as what the Amazing Race contestants went through.

Today was my first actual cupping treatment. Because I’m super pale and pasty, my acupuncturist warned me that I’d most likely have pretty severe bruising after the treatment. She used eight jars of varying sizes on my shoulders and upper back. As she started attaching them to my back, she said, “Yeah, you’re definitely going to bruise.”

And she was totally right.

The pain wasn’t that bad. I wouldn’t describe it as enjoyable, unless you are someone who finds things like deep tissue massages enjoyable. This was less painful than a deep tissue massage. And I’m not sore at all right now, like I would be if I had gotten a deep tissue massage. But a deep tissue massage doesn’t leave bruises that look like purple pepperonis on my back, so I guess it’s a toss-up.

Thank goodness I’m not wearing any fancy dresses or tank tops in the near future.

I almost considered posting a photo of my back, but looking at it in the mirror almost makes me pass out (I’m a total wuss with those things), so I decided to spare you the super grossness. If you want to see what the result looks like, try Google. And then thank me for not posting any photos. Even Dan thought it was pretty gross.

Instead, I’ll post some pics of Dig, who recently got a haircut.

Digger the Maltipoo | whatlindseylikes

Digger the Maltipoo | whatlindseylikes

Digger the Maltipoo | whatlindseylikes

What I Want: My Ideal Bathroom

I’m really particular when it comes to bathrooms. I used to write about them a lot in my previous blog (how I hate automation, my thoughts on background noise, my awareness of rogue rolls of toilet paper, how gross people can be, etc.), but when I sort of quit posting in that blog, my bathroom observations didn’t really seem relevant. However, when I started my current job a year ago, I had all sorts of new bathroom observations that I was dying to share, but again, they just didn’t really fit into the genre of this blog. And then I started to ask myself: Lindsey, if you aren’t sharing your ridiculously stupid observations about bathrooms (among other things), what kind of service are you providing to your readers? Great question.

If I was going to describe my ideal bathroom, it would be a single stall bathroom that was heavily insulated so that no one could ever hear anything that anyone does in it. That’s first and foremost. I think we all experience enough embarrassing situations in our everyday lives, why do we have to add to that with bathroom situations? And when someone is having a somewhat embarrassing bathroom situation, it’s not like anyone else wants to be around for it. Ha, it’s like a bad public speaker — we’re all uncomfortable and hoping to get out of there as quickly as humanly possible.

Secondly, it would have an amazing air exchange system and air freshener system that would eliminate all the horrible odors that happen in bathrooms. Seriously, we all know nothing pleasant happens in there. When one person exits and the next person enters, there should be nothing remaining. There should be no sign that someone had just been in there.

If I were really dreaming big, it would have a self-cleaning floor (and while we’re at it, all surfaces) that was made of super anti-bacterial stuff that would kill all germs instantly. The germophobe in me is going to come out here. When I’m using the bathroom, it DISGUSTS me when my pant leg grazes the floor. I’m not entirely sure how long surface germs live, but I feel like it could be a long time, especially when the germs are moving from a bathroom floor to your fibrous pants. Oh my gosh, I’m gagging in my chair as I type this. The floor in my office’s bathroom always looks covered in germs. It’s like someone spilled something on the floor and the remnants are left there for the entire day. I try to tell myself that it was raining outside (trying to convince myself that it rains every day….it doesn’t) and someone’s pant legs were wet and therefore made the floor wet, then it was dragged around after they were getting up and flushing the toilet. Or I tell myself that the residue is actually from a super-soapy mop that the cleaning person had used and that what I was seeing was actually really clean, soapy gunk that wouldn’t give me an infection. If all surfaces in bathrooms were self-cleaning, there would be a lot less for me to worry about. Basically, I want those Scrubbing Bubbles guys to live in this bathroom.

scrubbing-bubbles

It would also have a floor-length mirror so I could look at my outfit. If I was shooting for the moon, I’d also ask for really good lighting so I could possibly take outfit pictures. The majority of my work outfits are not that amazing, but every so often I’m impressed with myself and would like to capture that moment. I’m rarely motivated enough to do it when I get home from work (or it’s too dark outside / I don’t have good lighting inside).

That’s it. That’s all I want. I didn’t even comment about automated things. That’s progress, right?