It´s so good to talk to you again! I´ve missed you! 🙂 I´m sorry I´ve been kind of absent lately. It´s the most wonderful feeling to be so busy at work doing work that you love! I really have been slammed, not even taking lunch breaks–and each project brings me joy.
Also, my evening free time, which I used to use for catching up with you guys, well… I´ve kind of given that time to Game of Thrones. (More about this below.) I´m sorry! I can´t help it! It´s soooo good! 🙂
But really, we have a lot of catching up to do! I´ve kept a running list of things I´ve been meaning to tell you about:
Okay, this is only tangentially financially related, but I have to tell you about this craaaazy thing that’s been happening to me in the mornings.
It’s funny how, being from New Orleans, I thought I was from a “big city” but now living in Houston I realize… oh how wrong I was. Never have I dealt with long commutes and so much traffic, everywhere, going in all directions, at all hours! It’s bizzare. It doesn´t really bother me, as much as it intrigues me. I’ve been looking for patterns, alternate routes. What discovered is time travel!
I’m allowed to arrive to work anytime between 7 and 830am. This is great for me because I’m really not a morning person (understatement of the year), and sometimes I need some flexibility in the mornings, getting started. At first, I was leaving the house around 615-620, and arriving to work 745. I did this for a week or two. Then, one day, I was running late (my Keurig stopped working–more on this later), and left the house at 645, and I arrived at work at 720! I couldn’t believe it! It was a Friday when that happened, so I thought maybe it was a people-going-home-for-the-weekend kind of fluke, and so I tried it again on Monday. Same thing! Leave at 645, arrive at 720. Amazing! Now, I leave around 650 and arrive at 730 and it’s wonderful! I’ve cut my commute from 90 minutes to 40. I guess this is financially related! Time is money, and time in the car is gas money!
It mainly boggles my mind, though. Like, if there were two of me, and one were leaving at 615, and the other were leaving at 650, would the second one pass the first in traffic? Where and why does this happen?! I don’t understand it, and happily attribute it to my discovery of time travel. 🙂
A note: I have not yet learned the secrets of time travel in the evenings. If I leave before 5, it takes me 45-50 minutes to get home. If I leave between 5-6, it takes 60+ minutes. I haven’t tried staying past 6 because I have to be at the gym for 630! If you have insight on evening time travel, please share.
I really enjoyed Kay´s post about embracing the minimalist lifestyle, and I´m realizing that I´m sort of unintentionally doing the same. And you know what? It works. It´s totally fine. I live in one room, with a bathroom. All of my clothes are in one suitcase, and I have one medium sized box with everything else (shoes, kcups, toiletries). Everything else of mine is at our tiny apartment back in NOLA, but honestly, I haven´t needed anything else. Occassionally, I´ll make a note to bring something from home, but these have mainly been things like soap and Drano that I could just buy again here, but don´t want to, since I have some at home.
A big part of maintaining this minimalist lifestyle is routine simplicity. I have a routine, and it´s very simple, and I like it this way. I wake up, head to work, work, head to the gym (talk to Michael while driving–long commute–see above), work out, eat dinner at home, shower, talk to Michael again, and then enjoy a little free time (reading your blogs or watching Game of Thrones–more on this later).
I know this isn´t for everybody. But it works for me for a couple of reasons. I can live in a room with not a lot of stuff, because it´s just me, and my routine is simple. And I love a simple routine, I think, because I was so completely lacking schedule stability before–when I worked retail hours–that this 180º swing is beyond refreshing. It feels warm and welcoming to know that every day is going to be the same.
The free fun I´ve been enjoying has been on my weekends. Weekends are, as of yet, routine-less. I sleep in and dilly-dally. Sometimes I go to the gym. Sometimes I go home or Michael comes over. But! I´ve discovered the most wonderful park! I feel the way the colonists must have felt when they came to America–I want to claim this park as mine, even though a gazillion people have been there before me. It´s just so lovely. It´s called Hermann Park and it has a fountain, and lakes, and benches, and picnic tables, and kids with kites and families on paddle boats and clean bathrooms and easy parking. And a little train that comes around every 15 minutes or so with happy children waving. I wave back at them every time. Their happiness is infectious. My weekends have been Hermann Park, and I suspect they will continue to be. I pack lunches and bring books, or my husband, and love sitting there all day. Sometimes I even wear my workout gear and fool myself into thinking I´m going to work out.
Remember when I asked you guys about paying for professional association memberships? Well, the universe has kind of aligned to make this work out for me. The Houston Chapter of the AMA´s February luncheon just happened to be wonderful, and exactly related to the kind of work my boss and I do, and happened to fall on a day where we didn´t have any meetings to attend mid-day. So I signed us up and was able to get reimbursed, and we went. Southwest Airlines was the speaker, and now my boss is hooked. The guy who spoke was fabulous. She wants us to go every time. Next month IBM is speaking. This is doubly good for me. Not only do I get to attend the events for free (hearing the speakers, and free lunch!), I´m also networking, and meeting people, in case I don´t get a stellar job with my current employer after this internship is done, maybe something else will pop up.
I started reading the Game of Thrones books a while back, and loved them. (Anxiously awaiting books 6 and 7!) While I was reading them I tried to start watching the TV show, but I just couldn´t handle it. There were too many inconsistencies with the books, and though the were minor, it bothered me too much. And Michael really wasn´t into it. Well, I finished the last book over a year ago, and decided to give the show another go. I got a friend´s HBO login info, and am able to watch for free. Well, boy, am I hooked! I´m really not a TV watcher, but this is a very enjoyable way to pass the time. I´ve been staying up way past my bedtime, watching this show, and well, I really recommend it.
Okay. Guys. I have to tell you about my Keurig. I´ve had a Keurig for a few years now. The first one I had, I loved, but one day there was a power outage in the house (good old NOLA) and the Keurig just didn´t come back on. I called their customer service, and because it was still within the year warranty, they sent me out a new one. Fantastic. That second one I got, well, I don´t want to gross you out too much, but it got bugs in it. This was when I lived with roommates (though lovely, maybe not the cleanest bunch), and apparently Keurigs kind of attract bugs anyway, since there´s water, and the light on the display keeps the thing warm, and if you don´t clean it properly (or the surroundings) there´s probably sugary sweetness nearby. Anyway. I had to get rid of it.
I got my third Keurig a few Christmases ago. And that´s the one I brought to Houston. (Yes, I brought it. It´s a necessity. I´m very, very slow to wake up if I haven´t had my coffee.) Well, despite my cleaning it regularly, it started brewing very short cups. I read everything online about how to extra deep clean it, and nothing worked. So I called Keurig, and again, they sent me a new brewer! But this time, mine was out of warranty, and discontinued. Didn´t matter. They sent me the latest model free of charge. They don´t even want the old one back! It´s incredible! I received it today and just set it up. They even offered to replace any of my old kcups that might not be compatible with the new brewer, free of charge. I couldn´t be happier.
And so, that´s what´s been up with me lately. Just time travelling and enjoying free fun. How are you? Do you like “discovering” the great outdoors? Have you read/watched Game of Thrones? Do you have a Keurig? Have you had an outstanding customer experience with any other company?