Wednesday, May 20, 2015

10 YEARS in Wisconsin!

Hello internet!

It has come to my attention that I have not blogged about a very important event in my life. I have lived in Wisconsin for 10 years!!! If I am still here when I am 28 in January of 2019, I will have lived here half of my life, which I do not think I have ever been able to say before. However, that is 4 years away and I hope I live in a warmer climate by then, but I never would have thought I would have been here this long already.

The grass is always greener on the other side, so it will be very interesting to see my life in 10 more years!

That was my moment of "celebrating", now life goes on..

Monday, May 18, 2015

A-Squad

This post is dedicated to my very handsome, single, male friend, Francisco, aka Cisco. He is an eligible bachelor who recently ended his time in the marines, sniper platoon, after about 6 years. Although currently living in Milwaukee, he has seen the world and can't wait to share his experiences with a lovely lady. Cisco-thank you for your service and best wishes to finding a woman that can compare to you. I also want to say thank you to my boyfriend, James, who will be helping to upgrade my blog in the near future and provide professional web designers from his company to do so. Thirdly, my brother, Isaiah, I would not be writing the following post if it was not for you. You are my biggest motivator and inspiration.

I wanted to talk about running today...I am an amateur and frankly beginner runner, but after 4 successful, dedicated weeks running, I have some insightful reflections that you won't get from avid/professional runners.

1- I don't find running the hardest part. Meaning; my legs aren't killing and I have not gotten shin splints yet, which has always been an early running deterrent for me. I find breathing the hardest part. I also find it very easy to tell myself it is so hard that I should just walk and then when I have done my run and recover within 15 minutes, I realize I probably did not have to stop.

2- Allergies. Sometimes after I run (which I've only been running outside) I die of sneezing and watery eyes and then it stops within an hour. It is not every time and it is similar to other allergies I have, but I found that interesting. Especially because it does not start until after I am done running and back inside.

3- Whenever I see another runner, I want to cheer and say; "Keep going! You're doing great!". Especially people struggling more than me. Good for them. HOWEVER, I get some interesting reactions from people. Some men stop and stare then turn to watch me run away (which I don't appreciate). I have gotten a few high fives, which is awesome. I don't like running where there are lots of people, but it has its benefits at times also. Running at the lake is great for people watching and I must say, it keeps me from thinking about stopping.

4- Along with tracking my runs on Runkeeper, I've been keeping a "running journal". Most importantly to track what I eat/drink prior to the days run, how I feel during that run, and what the weather is like. I am interested in correlations, to find out what works for me and what doesn't with actual data and not assuming.

5- That feeling you get when you bend over to do something and the stretch you feel in your legs feels so good you stay there for a while. Also when walking/running up stairs and you feel like some 10lb weights you've had for the past 20 years have been removed because it is so much easier.

It is exciting to see my progression. From barely being able to finish a mile a month ago to shaving 6 minutes off of my 4 mile run. I am far from good, but each run helps in some way. I am about a month out from my 5K and I can't wait!

Congrats to everyone who ran the Green Bay Half & Marathon this weekend! You rock!


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Employment

I do not talk about work much on my blog because I am scared I might say something that does not represent my company in the way they want and get me in trouble. That does not discount the fact that I spend 45 hours a week "earning" a paycheck and working for the big man in Zurich.

Work is a funny topic for me. I probably relate to very few of you.

Apart from lawn mowing and doing office work for my dad, my first job was at Shopko when I was 16. Within a year, I went from cashier to service desk to customer service supervisor. Yes, I was managing people at the age of 17. Where do you put that on a resume? I left that job for college, and I still look back on it as one of the greatest learning experiences I have had related to jobs/careers. I was a waitress one summer, which was probably the most mentally difficult job I have ever had, then I was a cocktail waitress at a bar, which paid amazing and meshed well with my college habits and sleep schedule. During school, I worked at my college bookstore, which was the absolute best way to numb my brain after sitting in engineering classes all day and included 2 great bosses who treated me like their child. My junior year of college I got my first internship which has turned into the job I have now.

My internship could not have been better. I was on top of the world, getting paid more than I ever had, dressing up every day, getting up 4hrs earlier than I was used to every day, having freedom none of my other jobs had ever given me, and MOST IMPORTANTLY it affirmed that I wanted to be an engineer and finish school.

I always said that the day I walk into work unhappy was the day I needed to start looking for another job. In respect to jobs, I am an extremely positive person. My dad once told me something to the effect of having to make work fun or you will live a very long, unhappy life, so that is what I have tried doing. I also believe that you can influence your emotions based on how you decide to think. If you think "work sucks" and it is "boring", that is what it will be. I can't say I am that positive in all aspects of my life, but when I am having a bad day at work, I will complain about it and then think how blessed I am to have what I do.

I attended a retirement party recently for a fellow coworker and it was an eye-opening experience. He had 40+ years of experience and mostly with our company. A phrase that stuck with me is when he told the older generation to have patience with the younger employees. He said that we will make the same mistakes he/they did at one point, but you grow and keep making mistakes until you retire. He said that we all bring something to the table and have to be understanding of each other to grow as a company. Not any person alone can run this company and even older employees can learn from young ones. It felt good to hear from a retiree that he has something to learn from someone with such little experience because in many aspects I look up to him just like you look up to your grandparents because of their wisdom and worldly knowledge.

So I switched jobs at the beginning of the year to a different division in the same company and boy has it been interesting! Who knew it could be so different simply switching divisions? I went from knowing a lot to knowing very little and it has been hard for me. I switched jobs probably for the main reason that I didn't feel I was growing exponentially anymore. I was extremely comfortable and knew if I did not take the opportunity to grow elsewhere, I might be stuck feeling comfortable for a while. I think all of this stems from college and learning so much so quick so there is a void when that feeling is not there.

Every day is a unique experience and as much as we try to understand the course, we may never. Until then, I will try to keep learning. :)

Friday, May 1, 2015

Thank You Ford

Since I have had an influx of page views in the past month, it has motivated me to write more often. So, thank you for being here whether it is curiosity, boredom, or interest, I appreciate the audience. Also, thank you to my semi-famous brother for sending traffic this way. However, today, I am diverging from news updates on my brother...

It is no secret that I wish I was a race car driver. Mostly, it is just me dreaming and pretending, but come on, we all have dreams.

My interest in cars has been around for the majority of my able-to-remember life. Ask my parents how much anger it gave me riding in my mom's mini-vans or dad's 15+yr old cars. Although I am quite the diva, my anger was prompted by a passion, I guess you could call it.

Fast & Furious was my favorite movie series before the hype of Paul Walker...RIP. I remember the numerous times I watched the series in middle school, in my friends' basement, with the surround sound cranked. I now realize that was my first exposure to the Skyline (now GT-R) which remains the car I lust after.

Regardless, somewhere around that time, my dad bought a Porsche 924, which only enabled my need for speed and nice cars. (I might add here that my father actually got the car really cheap and had a friend restore it, although I like to pretend it was a million dollar car, his career doesn't really lend itself to buying over-the-top things such as a Porsche.) I was also the instigator in my brother getting his first speeding ticket in that car. (I'm sorry, Isaiah, it should have been me.) Also a major reason my 16th birthday didn't come quick enough. I even took special driving lessons, from my instructor, on how to drive stick so I could prove to my dad I was good enough to drive his car. Whatever the case, a little piece of me died when he sold the "Por-shuh", knowing full-well Wisconsin is not conducive to owning a nice sports car. I still cringe when I see people out in their sports cars less than "2 rains after the last snow".

February, 2013 was a great month in my book. My high school car, 1997 Nissan Sentra, broke down in the middle of an intersection and was beyond feasible repair, so I bought my first car. MY first car. For the first time in my life, I have a car I am proud of. It is far from my dream car, but a nice present to myself. Within 2 months of owning it, I was pulled over for speeding for my first time ever, but let off with a warning. I have surprisingly never had a speeding ticket or been in a major accident...I thank God regularly.

That leads me into another subject: types of drivers. I like to classify drivers into 2 categories; proactive and reactive. I'd say reactive drivers make up 95% of drivers. Symptoms are; not checking mirrors, not turning to look in blind spot, and thinking that everyone else on the road is attentive and good at driving. Proactive drivers are the opposite. Not trusting other drivers, constantly checking their surroundings, conscious of all cars around them and the speed they are moving, aware of near-by cars drifting or people on their phones not able to stop as quick, etc. I'm not condoning speeding (although faster speeds are allowed in Europe) however, I think speeding, to an extent, is safer when you are a proactive driver than reactive, but that is just my two cents.

Lastly, in the subject of cars and driving, I must talk about traffic patterns. I have been driving the same stretch of a major highway, in Milwaukee, for over 4 years. It intrigues me, immensely, trying to understand traffic patterns, which not to mention, varies from city to city across the globe. Looking at the smaller upper-midwest region of the US is plenty to try and understand. Things like on-ramps and why the person on the highway inevitably slows down for the person entering. Do you realize that causes the person behind you to slow down and so on until 10 cars back is braking and starts rush hour? If you keep going and cause the person on the on-ramp to slow down or stop, they can find a break in traffic that won't cause everyone to slow down. My favorite; people driving slow in the FAST lane. When I drove in Italy, it was awesome. It was essentially like frogger where the fast lane was a moving log you could only stay in for a second. If I pass you on your right, get the hint, MOVE OVER. And if you are going to pass someone, don't pass them going 1MPH more than them. I end up weaving through traffic because it is easier for me to criss-coss 4 lanes of traffic to pass 1 car, than build my anger and frustration waiting for a slow car in the FAST lane. I am frustrated just thinking about it. It also annoys me when people turn left when there is a no-left turn sign. (Although I do it occasionally, hear me out.) Those signs are 1- for your safety and 2- for traffic flow. If you are trying to turn left during peak hours, there probably won't be a break in traffic for you to do so and the 20 cars behind you are stuck when they are trying to go straight. Some guy actually YELLED at me for honking at him for trying to do that saying he was from out of town. Would you let an 18yr old drink at your bar if they said they were from Canada? My examples could go on for days, so if you ever want to hear me rant, ask about it.

Thanks for stopping by!

And for the record, I am not a Ford fan, but he did make the first publicly available car, so for that, I thank the Ford family.