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This is What my Heart Looks Like:

6 Jan

Why yes, you’re hearing from a new Anthropologie employee! It’s kind of a dream come true to start working there. They might as well pay me in clothes.

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Give Me Five!

19 Sep

Thought you could all use this on your Monday morning…

Internet High Five

Stuff I Want Wednesday

17 Aug

Seriously. SERIOUSLY. How have I lived my entire life without pie chart sticky notes?????? Oh my gosh, I need these IMMEDIATELY.

Find them here.

Lifelong Learning

11 Aug

Because education shoudn’t just be found in a classroom. Eighteen ways to educate yourself every day. See the original post here.

1. Watch a TED talk every day.

“Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.” These are the kind of bright ideas that I would like to fill my head with.

2. Read a random article of interest from www.howstuffworks.com every day.

They are quick, easy, informative, and give you a glimpse of a subject that you may decide to do more research on later!

A lovely reader recommended the podcasts “Stuff you should know” and “Stuff mom never told you” which can be found on the website.

3. Read for half an hour every day before bed.

This is such a monumental suggestion. The habit of reading for 30 minutes every day can really kick start your goal of “getting back into reading” and of course educating yourself as well. 30 minutes is not too hard to set aside at the end of the day. Just get yourself into bed 30 minutes earlier if you have to. If you read for 30 minutes every night you should be able to get through at least one book every two weeks. That’s 26 books a year (approximately). With this kind of reading rapport you are bound to make a sizable dent into your reading list.

4. Learn more about your job.

Focus more at work. Take the time to really understand why you do the things you do at work, instead of simply going through the motions. Even if this is a job you have been at for years, there is more to discover. Do some research on the company you work for, where did they come from? And what do they really do? There are great opportunities for growth and learning even in our sometimes boring 9-5 desk jobs. Although it may seem that you are just on the other end of a desk, your clients see you as an expert in your field. So make sure you are one!

5. Make learning something you do for “fun”.

Well, it should already be fun that you are taking the time to invest in yourself and learning more about your world – but you know how you could make it more fun? By getting other people involved (yay for them ;) ). You could watch documentaries with your partner or work on puzzles with your children, play trivial pursuit with your family, or discuss new and fresh topics with your friends.

6. Work on a puzzle every day.

This could be jigsaw puzzles, riddles, math puzzles etc. Anything that requires you to practice your mental acrobatics. You can buy simple “Train your brain” books from your local bookstore, that have a puzzle a day to make things really easy for you!

7. Read classics.

Something I try to force myself to do is to read books that are actually a little bit challenging – for the purpose of not only being “well read” but also having an opportunity to expand my vocabulary. Classics epitomize english language at it’s finest. I’m not saying they are always a joy to read, but boy do I feel proud of myself when I finish one.

8. Play www.freerice.com for a few minutes every day.

Work on your vocabulary whilst simultaneously feeding the hungry! You may pass GO. You may collect $200. The great thing about playing this every day is that they tend to repeat words, so you really start getting used to remembering new words that you were not initially used to.

9. Learn a new word every day.

Most of the online dictionaries have a “Word a day” feature that you can subscribe to by e-mail, or simply check online. Learn a new word every day, and make it your intention to use that word 3 times in your day.

10. Watch Documentaries.

Watching documentaries has never been easier! You can watch them on TV, and even on youtube. Sometimes I just type in a subject I am interested in and then “part 1″ and see what I can find. It’s also fun to watch documentaries on things you have no prior knowledge or real interest in.

One of my commenters has recommended BBC documentaries (I agree), in particular Planet Earth, and Wild China. National geographic has some pretty spectacular documentaries too.

I recommend Zeitgeist (you can also watch it on youtube). My boyfriend showed me this documentary and I seriously watched the whole thing with my eyes wide and my mouth open. It was truly life enhancing.

11. Follow some interesting blogs.

Find some bloggers that inspire you and fill your mind with bright ideas and thoughts, and follow them. Another option is to subscribe to a magazine that really fascinates you.

12. Take a class.

What better way to affirm to yourself that you are educating yourself – than to take an actual class? Find a topic that you wouldn’t mind learning more about, and register!

13. Learn a new language.

Are there any languages that you have been interested in learning? Well, why not start now! Take a class, get private lessons, watch videos online – whatever it is, find time in your life to immerse yourself in this new pursuit!

14. Take up a new hobby / put more effort into your current hobby.

I think everybody should have a hobby. Something that you can really throw yourself into. That you do just for fun, that makes you happy, that improves some aspect of yourself, and something you can commit to. If you can’t think of one – create one. There are plenty of hobbies out there. Pick one. Picking them is easy. Staying committed is hard. And even though hobbies are “Fun”, a degree of commitment is required if you ever plan to see some kind of result. Create a schedule in your week to really commit to your new hobby – a certain number of times a week, a  couple of hours a day – it really is up to you. Learn all about your new hobby, both the theory and the application.

15. Try new recipes.

You could buy a new cook book, subscribe to a cookery magazine, or even browse the miracle that is the internet. To make this fun, you could have themes and goals each week, like “eating healthy”, raw food, desserts, smoothies, appetizers, main courses, salads, fruits etc.

16. Practice memory games.

It’s one thing to stuff your head with all this information, its something completely different to access this information again when you really want it. No genius is considered a genius if he can’t remember what it is that he knows. By working with your memory, you can work on your ability to keep your new knowledge available for you to retrieve it.

17. Read the headlines.

My parents read the headlines every day. My mom says that I shouldn’t leave the house without having some clue of what’s going on in the world. I haven’t really implemented this much in my life yet – sometimes I just feel like the news is just so overwhelming – I don’t even know where to start (Does anyone else feel like this?!). I guess that’s why she suggested to “READ THE HEADLINES”.

I don’t think there can be anything wrong with knowing a little bit about what’s going on in the world.

18. Whenever you are making a trip somewhere, or doing something new – take the time to learn a little bit about it.

If you are ever stuck for new things to learn, this is a great way to give you some ideas. Use your life as an inspiration. If you are planning on going to a new city for the long weekend – learn about it. If you meet a new friend who is a wine merchant, learn all about being a wine merchant.

At first, I sometimes felt like I was stuck for new things to learn – which to me now feels totally ridiculous because is there really anything I couldn’t learn more about? But over time, after implementing many of these techniques, I find that my brain automatically gives me new topics to learn about. It is just INTERESTING!

And one day you are going to be able to talk about these things in discussions, and in your own mind you are going to be thinking “Wow.”

I remember a couple of years ago I had read a LOT of information about blue-whale attacks, their anatomy, their physiology, and how they ingest and digest their prey. A few months later, lo and behold – a girl in my class randomly said “Hmm I wonder what happens if you got eaten by a blue whale…”

Ah, yes. My time had come.

And for further education:

19. Discover what you may stumble upon when you StumbleUpon!

I don’t know how I could forget this little goldmine. I use it all the time and I love it!

20. Wikipedia

You can browse random articles on wikipedia, or you could use it as a great starting point for your own private nerdy research in an area of your choice! Awesome.

21. Play agoogleaday.com

I have not used this yet. It was a suggestion from a reader, but it looks fun!

Two Weeks Notice

2 Jul

I gave a little more than two weeks notice, as my AmeriCorps time with the Museum was always on a timetable, but Tuesday was my last official day at work. It’s weird to be moving on, like it hasn’t really set in yet. I think it would be different if I were staying here, to move on to school or a different job, but the fact is that everything in my life is about to change. This was just the first concrete sign that the times, they are a changin’.

I spent most of the morning packing up my office. There wasn’t much to pack up, of course, since most everything belongs to the Museum. There was the odd pencil holder, folder, mousepad, etc. to pack up, but all in all not too much. I also spent the day organizing the calendar and making copies for everyone so they know what’s going on, Outreach-wise, for the rest of the summer. I definitely wanted to make sure that things didn’t slack off just because I was leaving. Someone will step in to take my place, and things will keep going, just as they have for the past 18 months.

After spending the morning packing and organizing, the staff had organized a potluck party for me and the executive director, who’s also leaving, coincidentally. I guess you could say it was an emotional day around the Museum. Everyone had brought in various salads and casserole dishes, and they’d even ordered barbeque from a great local restaurant. It was an excellent lunch, for sure. There were even some former employees that came for the party to say goodbye, ones that I hadn’t ever worked with but have gotten to know through various Museum events and such. We basically spend the entire day eating and chatting. I don’t think anyone got much work done that day. It was such a lovely day, and a nice sendoff. It’s still hard to believe I won’t see them on a daily basis anymore.

Monday Meme

27 Jun

What’s geekier than an Internet meme quiz? Not much. Here’s one:

ARE YOU…

 1. A cuddler? Absolutely not. I like my personal space. Maybe I just haven’t found the right person to cuddle with yet.

2. A morning person? Much more than I used to be, although I still really enjoy being more of a night owl.

3. A perfectionist? Yes, most of the time.

4. An only child? No. I have a brother.

5. Catholic? No.

6. In your pajamas? Not currently.

7. Currently suffering from a broken heart? Not at the moment.

8. OK with styling other people’s hair? If by that you mean I have the desire to do it, not usually, unless it’s someone I know. If you mean do I have the skills, sadly, no.

9. Left handed? Yes, and very proud to be!

10. Addicted to Facebook? I’m ashamed to admit it, but probably so. I need to break that habit.

11. Shy around the opposite gender? Yes. I’m usually shy around anyone I don’t know, although I’m getting better about it as I get older.

 DO YOU…

 12. Bite your nails? No.

13. Get paranoid at times? Yes, I think everyone does at some time or another.

14. Currently regret something you have said? I do regret things I’ve said in the past, although nothing very recent.

15. Curse frequently when you get mad? It usually just comes out as one good, dirty word, then it’s over.

16. Enjoy country music? Hate it.

17. Enjoy jazz music? Usually when I’m studying or want to listen to something mellow without words.

18. Enjoy talking on the phone? If it’s with friends or family, I like it. If I have to call someone for work-related reasons, I don’t like that much. I feel like a bumbling idiot on the phone with people I don’t know.

19. Enjoy smoothies? Yes, who doesn’t enjoy smoothies? Especially now, in the hot summer.

20. Have a lot to learn? Everyone has a lot to learn.

21. Have a pet? Yes, I have a turtle.

22. Have a tendency to fall for the “wrong” person? If by wrong you mean “completely oblivious to my existence,” then yes. I haven’t been in abusive or bad relationships, though.

23. Have all your grandparents? No, just one.

24. Have at least one sibling? Yes, just one.

25. Have been told that you are smart? Yes, but I definitely don’t always feel that way!

26. Have a broken bone? No. I’ve only ever broken my toe once, a long time ago.

27. Have caller ID on your phone? Yes, I think almost everyone does now. That’s pretty standard, isn’t it?

 HAVE YOU…

 28. Changed a diaper? Yes, but not in a really, really long time. I was probably babysitting.

29. Changed a lot over the past year? I think I’ve gotten more confident about public speaking and starting conversations with strangers. I used to be very shy and get nervous about making presentations, but now I can do it like it’s nothing.

30. Had friends who have never seen your natural hair color? No, I used to just highlight my hair, but I haven’t done that in a long time. I like my natural color. I can’t imagine coloring it so often that you forget what color it used to be.

31. Had surgery? Yes, I’ve had my wisdom teeth removed.

32. Killed another person? No. And even if I had, I don’t think the internet is a wise place to go blabbing about it.

33. Had your hair cut within the last week? No.

34. Had the cops called on you? Well, sort of. It involves campus safety (so hardly “cops”) and some harmless pranking, but that’s a story for another time.

 THE LAST PERSON WHO…

35. Slept in your bed beside you? I cannot remember the last time anyone else slept in my bed. Maybe back in college when I had friends home for a weekend.

36. Saw you cry? My mom, I think. That’s been a while. I don’t usually cry, and then especially not in front of other people.

37. Went to the movies with you? Amanda.

38. You went to the mall with? Amanda, again.

39. You went out to a restaurant dinner with? My mom.

40. You talked on the phone with? Someone who called our house asking for my mom.

41. Made you laugh? A video I watched recently online.

 WOULD YOU RATHER…

 42. Pierce your nose or tongue? Nose, definitely. Although I don’t think my parents would like that at all.

43. Be serious or be funny? Funny. I’ve spent too much of my life being too serious.

44. Drink whole or skim milk? Maybe skim, although it tastes like water. Whole milk tastes like butter. Can I mix them together to make 2%?

45. McDonald’s or Wendy’s? Wendy’s, because they have frostys.

46. Punk or goth? Punk, I guess, but only if Anthony Bourdain was there, too.

 ARE YOU…

 47. Simple or complicated? Complicated, definitely.

48. Gay? Nope.

49. Hardcore? I don’t think this is a complete question.

 DO YOU PREFER… 

 50. Flowers or candy? Flowers.

51. Gray or black? Gray.

52. Color or black and white photos? It depends on the subject of the photos. Mostly I like black and white, but color is also nice.

53. Lust or love? Love, although lust is fun sometimes.

54.Sunriseor sunset? Sunset.

55. M&Ms or Skittles? Skittles.

56. Staying up late or waking up early? Staying up late, unless I have a lot of things to do the next day. Then I like to get up early and get everything finished.

57. Sun or moon? Moon. Full Moon.

58. Winter or fall? Fall, definitely. Winter is too cold, and besides, fall is just too pretty, with the gorgeous leaves and that slight crispness to the air.

59. Left or right? Left. We leftys have to stick together.

60. Having 10 acquaintances or having 2 best friends? 2 best friends.

61. Sun or rain? Sun.

62. Vanilla ice cream or chocolate ice cream? Chocolate. Ice cream isn’t worth eating without it.

63. Vodka or Jack? I’m sorry, I don’t understand this question. What is this “prefer” you speak of?

 ABOUT YOU…

 64. What time is it now? 4:50

65. Name? Laura the Lazy Llama

66. Nicknames: See above.

67. Where are you? At home, in our downstairs office.

68. What is your birthdate? October 27. The best day ever. There’s a Facebook group.

69. What do you want? Enough money to pay for grad school!

70. Where do you want to live?Paris.

71. How many kids do you want? 3 or 4.

72. What would you want to name a girl? Anna Sophia, Alice, Amelia. I promise I like names that don’t start with A.

73. What would you want to name a boy? Paul, Bennett, Henry.

74. Do you want to get married? Yes, someday.

75. Nervous habits: Biting the inside of my lip.

76. Are you double jointed? No.

77. Can you roll your tongue? Yes.

78. Can you raise one eyebrow? Yes, but only on one side.

79. Can you cross your eyes? Yes.

80. Do you make your bed daily? No.

81. Which shoe goes on first? Whichever one I grab. I don’t usually notice that.

82. How much money do you usually carry with you? None, it’s all about plastic.

83. What jewelry do you wear? Usually a ring and earrings. Not even that, lately.

84. Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it? Twirl, the real way, with a spoon, which real Italians taught me to do.

85. Favorite ice cream? Half Baked. Or Late Night Snack. It’s a tough call.

 IN THE LAST MONTH, HAVE YOU…

 86. Had a boyfriend/girlfriend? No.

87. Bought something you didn’t need? Yes.

88. Sang in front of people? No.

89. Been kissed? No.

90. Been hugged? No.

91. Felt stupid? Yes.

92. Missed someone? Yes.

93. Gotten drunk? No.

94. Gotten high? No, not ever.

95. Danced crazy? No. Probably something to do with my answer to 93.

96. Cried? No.

Checkup

18 Jun
I found this somewhere recently on a random blog; it had been copied from some magazine. Even though I’m pretty sure it was intended as a “live your best life in 2011” list, I think it’s appropriate to post now, midyear, as a way of checking up on how well we’re doing.
 
Health:
  1. Drink plenty of water.
  2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
  3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
  4. Live with the 3 E’s – Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
  5. Play more games.
  6. Read more books than you did in 2010.
  7. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
  8. Sleep for 7 hours.
  9. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.
Personality:
  1. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  2. Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
  3. Don’t over do. Keep your limits.
  4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  5. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
  6. Dream more while you are awake.
  7. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  8. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
  9. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
  10. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
  11. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  12. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.  Problems  are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class, but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
  13. Smile and laugh more.
  14. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
Society:
  1. Call your family often.
  2. Each day give something good to others.
  3. Forgive everyone for everything.
  4. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
  5. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
  6. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  7. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
Life:
  1. Do the right thing!
  2. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
  3. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  4. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  5. The best is yet to come.
  6. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.