Feeling “Off”

Man, I don’t know what it is about this week, but I have been out of it.

After having an amazingly productive first three weeks of January — setting up events for Yelp’s Fit Club, rockin’ the first phase of P90, planning a work trip to Savannah in a couple of weeks — these past couple of days have hit me hard.

On Monday, I fell asleep at 5 PM.

Like, legitimately fell asleep.

Until morning.

WTF?

Granted, I’d been up until 3 – 4 AM the few nights before that, so maybe there really is something to the idea that your body eventually needs to catch up on sleep, but… still. That’s pretty crazy, right? I slept for like… 15 hours. And when I woke up, I was still tired!

Which meant that despite my extra long Goldilocks-esque sleeping sesh, I ended up going through most of Tuesday in a bit of a haze. I spent most of the day on the phone for work and then preparing for an event that I had that night, and while the event itself was super fun, I was definitely wiped out by the end of it.

I figure that there are a few possible reasons for this week getting off to such a rocky start. Maybe I’m getting sick (likely, given my piss poor immune system, but other than being exhausted I don’t think I have any other symptoms), maybe it’s stress-related since I’ve got so many things on my plate right now, or maybe it’s the weather (though not the snow — I legitimately loooove snow and am so happy we finally got some inches! I’m sure any of you who live in Boston do NOT feel the same way though… sorry.)

As far as being impacted by the weather beyond the beautiful white fluff on the ground, it’s a definite possibility. It’s been crazy cold this week, so I’ve been spending more time indoors and I hear that sun exposure (or lack thereof) has a tendency to mess with you. I’ve never really thought of myself as someone who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder, though.

Sure, I’ve experienced my share of the winter blues, and during my very, very brief stint with tanning, I can’t say I didn’t notice how spending a few minutes under the UV bulbs lifted my mood, but I guess I never really paid attention until recently as to whether all of it was connected. Y’know, whether my mood might have been bluer due to the weather, or just due to me being me. (It’s not like I’m known for my general mood stability, after all.)

Now, I’m not trying to self-diagnose myself with SAD or anything here. Rather, all of this conjecture is just to further illustrate the point that it’s been a bit of an off week for me so far. And unfortunately, this also means that I totally failed on the workout front on both Monday & Tuesday. So much for that flawless 90-day plan! Womp womp.

But! Snaps for me, I did get back on the wagon yesterday, so, hey, we move on. And, really, it’s not like taking two extra days off from working out is that big of a deal. I mean, let us not forget how many rest days I was taking before all of this. (Hint: all of them. It was all of them.)

Well, hopefully today will prove to be a very good day, even if it is once again jam-packed, because I’m off to see The Master. The master of hair color, that is! Yep, I’m heading back to Be Scene Studios so my main man Linh can work his hair color magic on me. The top half of the grey part of my hair has officially faded (interestingly enough, it’s faded to a blonde-ish color, which basically means my hair is like two-toned right now, aha!)

Any guesses as to what color I might come back with next? Here’s a quick reminder of what’s been done so far (in chronological order, but of course!):

Hair Collage

Aaaaanyway, I figure that gettin’ my hairs re-did is a good way to try and salvage the rest of this weird, weird week. Hope you’re all faring less strangely than I am this week!

Do any of you find the winter weather messes with you around this time of year? As with all things in my life, I do find it ever so comforting when I hear about all the various ways in which I’m not alone. 🙂

The Pros and Cons of Working From Home

So, as you guys know, my new job has altered my life quite a bit. Not in any kind of bad way, kind of the opposite — for once in my life, I absolutely LOVE my job! (Though I don’t scream it from the rooftop toooooo much, since I don’t want a mob of angry government contractors chasing after me with pitchforks for being immodest, haha.)

But even though I seriously love it, it has come with a LOT of changes to my lifestyle. For one thing, I’m busier now than I have EVER been. Which means, as you already know, blogging has had to take a backseat, and progress on my sequel to Terra has been much, much slower than I anticipated. Probably the biggest way that things have changed, however, is that I’m now working from home, which is simultaneously the best and worst thing to have happened.

I’m sure that those of you who have never worked from home probably think I’m crazy for even thinking the word “worst” right now, but just hear me out. There are a lot of pros to not having to go into an office every day, absolutely. But there are quite a few cons as well. Let me ‘splain:

Pro: No alarm clock.

Well, no alarm clock other than the fluffy white schnauzer who wakes me up around 9:30 every morning, that is. But still, it is REALLY nice not having to schedule my morning around how long it’s going to take me to battle DC traffic into the city.

Con: No bedtime.

Of course, the other side of this is that I also don’t have any reason to force myself into bed at night. Which means oftentimes, I’m working late and staying up even later. A 2 AM or later bedtime is not uncommon ’round these parts nowadays.

Pro: I set my own schedule.

Need to go the grocery store? Have a doctor’s appointment? Want to go meet some friends for happy hour? Want to take the schnauzies to the dog park? I can do ALL of that! Which is honestly probably the best part of this whole kit ‘n’ caboodle. I don’t have to schedule PTO if I need to run an errand or take care of something, I can just go do it. I set my own schedule, and as long as I’m getting crap done on a weekly basis, it’s all good in the hood. Now, if only I could actually force myself to make working out part of this schedule o’ mine. I really have NO excuse anymore, other than that this new job hasn’t made me magically hate exercising any less, hahahaha. But hey, at least I’m walking the dogs a lot more!

Con: I am working pretty much non-stop.

So here’s the thing: When I’m not running errands or going to get my car’s safety inspection done or taking the dogs for a walk, I am probably working. I still have NOT figured out a way to shut my brain off from working, even when I really should be “done” for the day. I see a work email notification ping up on my iPhone and I simply MUST CHECK IT.

Nights? Weekends? Fageddaboutit. I have constant, unfettered access to my work email at all times, and I have events and festivals to either attend or work most a lot of the time. Ergo, it really does seem like I am ALWAYS working. It is not uncommon for me to pull my laptop onto my lap first thing in the morning, while still in bed, and not really close it until late at night. I check my phone to make sure there aren’t any new emails right before I go to bed a lot of the time. And it’s not that I do these things because I have to, I know logically that the email will still be there in the morning, that people will be okay if I don’t take care of something OMGRIGHTNOW. But I just can’t help it. It’s a bit of a sickness, really.

One of the tips I got when I was in San Francisco last week for training is to initiate a “laptops down” rule, which I think I definitely need to do. I know this is something I actively need to work on, especially since there are other things happening in my life that I want — and NEED — to devote time to… sigh.

Pro: No more dress code!

Okay, let’s end this on a high note, since I really don’t want anyone to think that this isn’t an awesome situation for me. As mentioned, I sincerely love this job, it’s perfect for me, and I am also still new to working from home, so I’m sure that I’ll get a better handle on things the longer I do it. Plus, there’s still at least one more pretty awesome pro left for me to discuss!

While this is also sort of a con, since my dress code is now pretty much just “pajamas,” I won’t lie, I really, really like not having to think about what I’m going to wear from a business or business casual perspective. Plus, I can do stuff like this now:

And really, having purple and pink hair is a pro that kinda outweighs everything else. 😉

Do you work from home? What are your tips/tricks for establishing a regular schedule and not working ALL THE TIME?

Think Pink

Soooooo, this weekend, I kinda did something… drastic.

See, with my new job, I no longer work in a government contracting office. Which means I realized that I no longer really have any need to conform to the standards of business-professional dress on a daily basis.

So… I changed my hair.

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Surprise!

Which, actually, if any of you remember the blonde pixie cut incident of 2011, this really shouldn’t come as a surprise. My hair is actually so naturally dark that it took two separate rounds of bleaching to achieve a light enough color to be able to go all nutso pink on.

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Which means I spent a full day looking like a semi-Asian version of X-Men’s Rogue or Archie Comics’ Alexandra Cabot before being able to do this thing in full. (And even after the second treatment, my hair still isn’t anything quite like that super cool white-blonde – it’s just yellah.)

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Still, all’s well that ends well! I feel punky and pinky and I’m not gonna lie, I kind of love it. Plus, everyone knows bright colors fade out pretty quick, so I can re-color my bangs and the few chunks underneath with different colors! Kinda fun, no?

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Some people probably think I’m crazy for A) doing this myself or B) doing it at all, but I have ALWAYS been of the opinion that if you’re gonna change your appearance, it might as well be your hair. After all, if it’s truly terrible, at least you know that it’ll grow back out eventually!

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Are you devil-may-care with your hair like me, or more cautious with your tresses?

I always loveloveLOVE the episodes of America’s Next Top Model when there’s at least one girl who is bawling over the thought of getting her locks chopped off. If Tyra Banks wanted to shave my hair into a purple mohawk cause she thinks it’d look fierce, I would hand her the razor myself! 😉

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I’ve joked in the past that this blog could easily be called “The Many Haircuts and Colors of Gretchen”. I change my hair often and, much of the time, quite drastically. Short, long, brown, red, blonde, bangs, side bangs, no bangs… I’ve pretty much done it all. Here is just a small (ha!) photographic sampling of some of the hairdids I’ve had in the past. Because, you know, really the main point of this blog is to provide catharsis for my vanity. Ahahahaha. 😉


Where my complicated relationship with bangs began… keke


Looooong and au natural


Looooong and definitely NOT au natural (but super fun!)


Chin-length and highlights

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Bangs McCoy

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Blonde!

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Blonde pixie!

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De-blonding

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Red is rad

And so on, and so forth.

I’ve always been of the mindset that hair is the very best thing to fool around with if I’m feeling restless about my appearance. Unlike tattoos and piercings, changes that you make to your hair are still just temporary. I mean, it’s just hair, right? It grows back.

Anyway, all of this is really just a lame build up to announce that I’ve dyed my hair again. I’m pretty sure it’s undeserving of an announcement, actually, but it’s Friday and this is pretty much all I got. I am actively trying NOT to cut my hair (growing it out for my brother’s wedding next Spring!) but I really needed a change up. Plus, the roots situation of my last dyejob was getting kind of out of control.

Before…

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It’s like the ombre roots trend except not well executed and actually awful.

After…

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Pur-poh!

The color is supposed to be a burgundy-ish brown, but looks much more purple right now than I had intended. Not that I mind, since purple is awesome, but it will fade as I wash it anyway. Except for when I went blonde last year, I almost always use at-home coloring kits (I like Garnier Fructis) to dye my hair. Salon coloring is SO expensive for something that I pretty much view as an experiment. I’m probably still going to do something to these weird growy-outty bangs that are happening but perhaps I’ll save that for another day when I need some more blog filler. 😉

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend! Mine includes Miss Anne P.‘s bachelorette party (a wine tour like we did for my sister’s 30th birthday!) as well as her 30th birthday party afterward. Wooo! It’s actually her birthday today, so make sure to pop over to her blog and wish her well!!

Awk. (Vlog #1)

There’s really no other way to describe my first vlogging attempt. I am just so very, very awkward. It was fun though! I’m simultaneously excited and terrified for your feedback, haha.

I don’t know why my computer takes such bad quality videos other than the fact that it’s kinda old at this point. And, you know, broken. Hopefully it doesn’t affront your delicate senses too badly. 😉

Also, apparently I have an issue with actually saying the word “vlog”, because if you had to take a shot every time I say “video log” instead you would get really, really drunk.

Hopefully it’s at least moderately entertaining for you! Sorry if it’s a little on the long side… once you start you just can’t stop! Also, my apologies if I received a question from you after I had already filmed this. Next time!

Godspeed, my friends.

If you can’t watch it for any reason, here are a couple of pictures that pretty much sum it up.


I’m brunette again! Wheeee!

And in case there’s any doubt as to my complete and utter awkwardness, I give you: The Outtakes.

Thoughts on…

My voice?

My hair color?

The vlog in general?

Lay ’em on me! Just please don’t leave me. 😉