Week 7 & 8: Food, Phone & Fun!

Hello again, how’s it going?  First allow me to apologize for missing last week.  It wasn’t for a lack of anything new, rather it was due to a lack of effective time management.  As a way of apologizing for missing last week, I’m going to tell you about 3 new things I have tried over the past 2 weeks.  I hope that makes up for it, and I will try not to allow my procrastination habits to interfere with my weekly blog posts again.

Food!
We will start with the first new thing I tried, which was a new food, Chinese.  That might not seem like a very big thing to some people, but to my friends and family, I am notorious for eating a very limited, and most would say, boring selection of food.  When I was growing up and my family would get Chinese food, I would always have something else.  I can’t say I actually ever tried much of what they got, although I do remember I would eat the white rice and fortune cookies.  I think what held me back were the sauces; in general I am not a fan of food with lots of sauce on it.  It doesn’t matter what culture the food comes from, I just don’t eat a lot of sauce (unless we are talking about chocolate sauce on a sundae, then give me as much as you will.)  I understand to most people, the sauce is what makes food good, gives it more flavor and makes it fun to eat, I just don’t happen to agree.  I don’t judge others for their food choices, and thankfully no one I care about judges me on mine either.  So, everything’s fine… until friend, family member, or in this case boyfriend decide they want a type of food that I have become accustomed to avoiding.  Then we run into a bit of trouble.

I’ll be honest, I probably wouldn’t have gone along with the choice for Chinese food for dinner if I hadn’t had a big lunch and therefore was not all that hungry when dinnertime came around.  But I did, so I went with it.  Boyfriend and I both like chicken, so he ordered two types of chicken meals that he liked and I agreed to try them.  The first was chicken fried rice, and unfortunately I forget what the other one was.  I know it had chicken and vegetables all covered in sauce.  I was hesitant, but I did try them both dishes, which is the most important part.

I wasn’t wild about the dish with the chicken and vegetables.  No I’m not anti vegetable, it was just the sauce that I didn’t love.  I didn’t hate it, if I had been very hungry, I would have eaten it and been fine, but the sauce was too sweet for me I think.  That might seem surprising because I definitely have a sweet tooth, but in this case, I just wasn’t wild about it.  The chicken fried rice however, I liked so much that I got a second, larger helping when I was finished with my initial taste tests.

In the end, while I don’t think I’ll be craving Chinese food any time soon, I did find a dish that I would gladly have again the next time boyfriend, or whoever I’m getting a meal with is craving it.  I also feel encouraged to try more and maybe find some more dishes that I like so I can expand my palette and add a little variety to my diet.  It’s a slow process, but at least I’ve taken a step in the right direction.

Phone!
My second something new is the result of annoyingly high mobile phone bills that didn’t go down when one member of my family decided to leave the family plan.  I’m not going to get into that, but basically the result was a $30 increase in my share of the bill per month.  Not cool.  So, those of us remaining in the family plan discussed our options, chose a new provider that had good coverage and decent prices.  I considered going solo, but my bill would have been higher than it is staying with the family, so there was no reason for me to leave the plan.

We did have a couple setbacks initially.  The three of us on the plan all live in different places so we couldn’t exactly all get together and switch SIM cards at the same time.  Plus, the representatives from the companies said they could do one thing when it came to switching our numbers, and they actually did something else.  The result was we each ended up with temporary numbers for a while, my brother had my phone number for a while, and my poor mom ended up spending way much more time on the phone with the representatives than she should have had to.  It was very stressful for her, only minimally stressful for me, and now I’m happy to report we all have our proper phone numbers and are happy with our new service.

Fun!
The third new thing I tried this week is something I have been wanting to do for a few months now; ever since one of my friends posted about it on Facebook… the sky slide! Technically called OUE Skyspace LA, the sky slide is a see-through slide on the outside of the US Bank building in downtown Los Angeles.  I don’t know about you, but sliding down around the outside of the tallest building in the city sounds like fun to me!  I originally figured I’d go by myself but I was happy to learn boyfriend was willing to come too, and we chose to go at night so we could see the city all lit up below us (good choice.)

Now, I had seen clips of people sliding down the sky slide before, and I could tell it was shorter than it seems on the website; it only goes down one floor.  So while I really wanted to try it, I was also expecting it to be more silly than exciting.  It was good that I was familiar with it beforehand because it helped keep my expectations reasonable.  What I didn’t realize was that there’s more than just the slide.  There are dozens of windows, so you can see all around the city, a balcony which is also where the slide ends.  It was a little chilly when we went, but it was still nice and I got some pretty pictures.  The staff were all nice and friendly, some were pretty talkative too, which wasn’t so bad when waiting for the elevator to climb 69 floors to bring you back down once you’ve gone down the slide (there are also stairs to walk down for those who don’t want to slide around the side of a building).

As for the slide itself, they give you a mat to slide down, and while it is short, it was actually faster than I expected.  They have someone at the bottom taking pictures of everyone, which is okay since they won’t let you use your phone while sliding, but I would have liked a video.  Plus, the slide is so short, that you don’t really get to see the city as you slide down because by the time you’re ready to look somewhere besides right in front of you, you’re done.  Having said that, I had fun.  I enjoyed it, it was cool to see the city from so far up because everything that looks so big from the ground looks so small from above.  Plus, the city seems a lot smaller from up high than it does when you’re walking or sitting in traffic trying to get to work.  So, in the end, I had fun, I’m glad I tried it, and if any of my other friends wanted to do it, I would go again.  Next time I would just have someone waiting at the bottom of the slide to take a video and I would start by looking outwards instead of in front of me.

As a side note, earlier in the day, before going down the slide I went for a walk and ran into a film shoot.  I’m not sure what movie it’s for, but there were a lot of wrecked cars, rubble, and a few fallen street signs and trees.  I look forward to seeing if I can recognize it in the future.  Also, to those of you keeping track, I completed the article I mentioned in week 4.  It was very difficult to write and I ended up writing three different openings before I actually forced myself to move on and write the rest of the article, then I ended up writing a fourth opening and completely reorganizing everything for the final draft.  I haven’t heard back, but I hope everyone at work ends up liking it.  Also, I am still working on my manuscript for the writing conference which I signed up for in week 2.  Right now, I have written over 13000 words, which might sound like a lot, but I am actually very far behind, so that is going to be more of a priority moving forward.

I’m not sure what’s going to be new for next week, but I look forward to finding out, and I hope you do too.  I hope you all are out there trying new things too, big or small, it’s cool to change things up a bit.  See you next week!

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Week 6: A New Floor

Hey everyone!  I hope you are doing well and trying new things when you can.  If you’ve been following my blog, you know I’ve been displaced from my condo this year.  And if you haven’t been following, now you know.  This week my ‘big’ new thing was picking out the new flooring for my condo.  Technically this wasn’t my first time picking out a floor, I chose the floor for the majority of my condo when I moved in.  But what makes this experience new is that I also got to pick out flooring for my bathrooms, which I didn’t get to do when I moved in.

I wasn’t entirely alone; my mom was able to FaceTime with me to help provide input and advice since she has a lot more experience remodeling places than I do.  I still found the process a little challenging.  There were so many samples, colors, grains and sizes to choose from, and I’m not the best with decisions in general, forget about decisions that I have to see and live with every day!  I wasn’t completely lost, I liked my old floor, so I had a good idea of the color I was looking for, so that gave me a starting point.  It was also pretty easy to nix the colors I hated, right away, although the woman helping me seemed to keep suggesting them.

It probably took about half an hour to whittle the floor samples down to my top three choices.  Then, I was able to pick the top two pretty quick, but then I was a little stuck.  The colors were pretty similar, but the grain and width of the planks was different.  That is what held me up, I preferred the grain of one, but the width of the other.  Initially I was worried that the wider plank wouldn’t fit with the size of my condo.  In the end, I went with the grain I preferred because the thinner plans had a grain that just felt too busy, which as my mom suggested would end up bothering me a lot more than the width of the plank.  That made sense to me, so that was one decision down.

After that it was time to pick the floor for my bathroom.  Ironically, even though I had less of an idea of what I wanted for the bathroom, it took less time to pick options I liked.  Once again, the lady helping me kept suggesting options that I didn’t like at all, but again I found three options I liked.  I placed them all around the sample for the main part of my condo to help see what they will look like next to each other.  Picking the flooring I liked best for the bathroom was easier because one had a pattern that was too large for the size of my bathrooms and of the remaining two, one would have been far too slippery.

I won’t lie, unlike some people, I’m not wild about making decorating choices.  Like most decisions, the process stresses me out and I spend the majority of it wishing it was over.  However, having completed the stressful decision-making step, I am now excited to see what it will look like.  It will still be a while before I’m able to move back into my condo, but it’s a huge relief to have my flooring chosen.

So, it’s a new week whether big or small, I hope you all go out and experience something new.

Week 5: A New Habit – Inbox Cleansing

Hey there!  How’s it going?  Happy February, I hope you all are doing well and trying something new.  If you haven’t done anything new this year, no worries, it’s never too late!  This week my something new is not of the exciting sort, but it is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while.  And that thing is… organizing my e-mail inboxes.

You see, my inbox mirrors my life in that I am a bit of a pack rat, and while I wouldn’t say I’m messy, I can come across as disorganized.  In my home I tend to leave papers on the table for a week or two until I decide I’ve had enough, or until my mom comes over.  At that point I sit down, take care of anything I’ve been putting off and file the papers away.  Every time I feel lighter, happier, and assure myself I won’t let the papers build up again.  That usually lasts about 3 days, then I’ll fall back into my old routine and the papers will pile up again.  The inboxes for my e-mail accounts is no different.

Since I’m not in my home at the moment, I couldn’t tackle the paper filing habit, but I could sit down and get rid of the unnecessary emails that were clogging my inbox, over 1,300 unread emails in two inboxes to be exact.  Believe it or not that’s down from over 10,000 a few months ago, so in my mind it wasn’t so bad.  But then my boyfriend saw my unread e-mail total… he who had zero unread emails in four inboxes (or maybe more, I forget the exact number); which is just the latest example of the unending list of differences between us.  But I digress.  He did not say anything negative, although the expression on his face screamed “you’re ridiculous” in my mind.  All he did was chuckle and shake his head, then we went back to watching whatever movie we were watching at the time.

Still, looks like that stick with me, and it’s not like I want to have over 1,000 unread emails in addition to the countless emails that I had read but never deleted, sitting in my inbox.  So, I set out to do some tidying up.  Most of the emails were mailing lists trying to sell me things, get me to take classes, or advertising what’s going on around me.  I signed up for all of them, yet actually read very few of them.  I’m sure I’m not the only one, but as to why I never just deleted them, I can’t say.  But that’s what I did this week.  I went through my email in spurts of about 5-10 minutes, and it took all week, but it is done.  Turns out I had years worth of emails that I had read but never filed or deleted.  But no more!  I am proud to say I went through all of them, and now I do not have to scroll down at all to see all my emails in my inboxes on my phone!  It took a lot of deleting, a little filing, and a tiny bit of reading, but it is done.  And unlike the papers that seem to accumulate on my table at home after a round of filing, I hope to keep my inboxes clean from now on.