Posts Tagged ‘moving’

On My Mind, episode 12: winning

laelene Posted in on my mind,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

It’s the first day of my last two weeks on the job and I’m not yet ready for the change, though I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been on a streak of good fortune, which has been nice.

It started when I got an email about potential roommates. I had wanted to split a 3-bedroom to save on costs, but wasn’t sure how to begin. I’d looked at some apartments and that was it. As luck would have it, one of the girls I met at admit weekend reached out to me – she and another girl had secured an apartment and needed a third roommate. The place is in DTLA just like I wanted and it looks fabulous. It’s a quick and easy drive down to campus. The rent cost is less then the $1400 max I was hoping for.

So there I was, with an opportunity in my lap. The other girl happens to live in DC, so we were able to meet up after work last Tuesday to chat and make sure we were a good fit. I’m pleased to say that everything went well and we’re going ahead with getting me added to the lease! How easy was that?

Then last week we had an internal testing event to try out the new app we’ll be rolling out. For our participation, we were entered in a drawing for one of three $150 Amazon gift cards. I was the very last name drawn, how exciting!! What a nice parting gift to get. 🙂

As if that wasn’t all good enough, I noticed a message in my Instagram account. I don’t check often, but it happened to catch my eye. I had won a contest for a free Lilee box, courtesy of Beauty Box 5 and others hosting a Sunset Shop Giveaway. Yippee! I don’t enter contests as much anymore, but I’m glad to see I can still win them from time to time. I’ve found that I usually have a 1-1.5% success rate.

And hey while I’m at it, I’d like to celebrate the fact that I opened a Capital One 360 Savings account and found out they have a pretty awesome interest rate of 0.75% APY. Certainly better than the other accounts I have open elsewhere. My mom says that Discover has a great one too, so when I see a good offer for new accounts, I’ll have to set one up.

Finally, it is the start of the end for me and in a way, that’s worth celebrating. I’ll miss my friends and aspects of working here, but I really look forward to learning new things, meeting people who are as excited about business as I am, and setting my career on the track I’ve wanted for some time now.

Office move

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a major change at the office and today’s the day that we kicked it off. At 6 PM, everyone had their stuff packed in boxes and the movers began to roll things over to the newly opened section of the office, which has been under renovation for weeks (nearly 3 months). We have officially taken over the entire floor and get to enjoy the new area. Our current space will be closed off for renovations before the big reveal in May, when the entire office will be at its peak. I’ll get to enjoy that for about a month before I head off for business school!

At the end of the day, we went to the new part to start putting together new furniture, arrange desks, and get everyone’s boxes to their place. We have a ton of new meeting rooms and a nice hardwood area where the cafe and event space/theater are. I’ve found my new favorite room, which is a little one that can fit two people and is tucked up right against the window. It’ll be a cozy place for me to do webinars and get away from the mess of people in the main area.

For the next month, we are all going to be crammed into a space that is about half of what we were in. This means that the sales team is no longer in their own area and quite honestly, all of us are dreading the level of noise that means across the entire open office. I’m pretty sure I will seek reprieve in one of the meeting rooms or other public spaces. Or, perhaps I’ll be able to work outside a bit since our wifi signal can sometimes be picked up downstairs in the courtyard.

Tomorrow’s going to be a strange day as we discover a new pattern. I always enjoy some change, so this should be fun. 🙂

How many places have you lived?

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , ,

Seems like an innocent question, no? And for most, it’s pretty simple to answer.

But for me, it requires some clarifying: what do you consider a place? A town, a region, an actual building/unit? And what do you mean by “lived?” A place you consider a home? A place you spent a certain amount of time at? A place where you had a bed?

See for me, each of those results in a different answer. This question is laden with possible answers, much like the similar “Where are you from?” Things aren’t so straightforward when there are moves abound in your life. In different contexts, I use different ways of identifying with a place I’ve been. For example, Penn State University at State College in Pennsylvania, where we lived on Apple street in two graduate apartments. I choose to use any of the five potential ways to identify with that part of my life depending on what I’m connecting with. Is it the memory of fishing with my dad in the first apartment? The cooking I remember my mom doing and the teaching I remember my grandma doing in the second apartment? Is it the fact that Pennsylvania was the first area we lived in (in America) and because of that we had Amish friends who invited us to their home Christmas? Is it that we’d enjoy delicious ice cream and I enjoyed perusing the cool gemstone exhibit at the university? The one I connect least with is State College, but it comes up when discussing connections to cities.

So the next time you ask someone about the places they’ve lived, pay attention to how they express themselves. Do they talk about the general area, perhaps by country/state/province? Do they instead focus on the actual city, or even the town? These are interesting clues to which part of their experiences and memories they connect with more strongly. And when you answer the questions, consider how you feel most comfortable discussing it. You might learn more about yourself than you had paid attention to before.

In case you’re curious, here’s my tally…

If a place is a town: Shenyang, Jieshou, State College, Topeka, Ballwin, Brewster, Valencia, Westwood, York, Singapore (Clementi?), El Segundo, Centreville, Chantilly. 13

If a place is a region: Northeastern China, Anhui Province, Pennsylvania, Topeka, St. Louis, New York/Connecticut, the Greater Los Angeles area, Northern UK, Singapore, Northern Virginia/DC Metro. 10

If a place is a building or unit: dozens! Laolao’s home, Nainai’s home, Apple St. grad housing, across the street housing, Topeka townhouse, Topeka house, Laolao’s new place, St. Louis apartment, St. Louis house, Connecticut hotel, New York house, Valencia apartment, Valencia house, first year dorm, second year dorm, UK dorm, summer apartment, fourth year dorm, summer dorm, final quarter apartment, Singaporean friend’s, Singaporean coworker’s, Panda’s apartment, Panda’s summer dorm, El Segundo apartment, Virginia apartment, and Virginia condo. 27

If lived means where I’ve considered home: Shenyang, Jieshou, Penn State, Topeka, St. Louis, New York, LA, and Virginia. 8

If lived means where I’ve spent more than 6 months: Shenyang, Jieshou, State College, Topeka, St. Louis, New York, Valencia, Westwood, York, El Segundo, Centreville, and Chantilly. 12

If lived means where I’ve had to be since I couldn’t crash elsewhere: I’d say that pretty much is exactly the same as the building interpretation of “place” as mentioned above. 27 again

Of course, different combinations of the “place” and “lived” concepts yield different results. I went with what I felt most comfortable with. What would your lists look like?

Filling up the home

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses,Tags: , , , , , ,

Today we received our new furniture! Last weekend, we bought a set of couches and tables from hhgregg. We scheduled to have them delivered today and our home is finally feeling homey. For two months now we’ve been living here with a completely empty living room. It was big and cold and empty, so there was no reason to hang out there. Now with the couches, it’s a fantastic place to spend more time in.

large white truck filled with furniture stopping for couch delivery

I heard the truck as soon as it arrived. Here come our couches!

couch wrapped up in cardboard and plastic

The loveseat took careful maneuvering to get upstairs without hitting the hall lights.

assembling three pieces of couch

The larger sofa had to be disassembled to get it up.

boxes of end tables and coffeetable with two guys assembling the pieces

I hadn’t realized the tables needed to be put together!

new couch set with two couches, coffee table, two end tables, and pillows

Our new couch set, currently on cardboard until we get those felt pads.

I’m very happy with this couch set! It’s not the prettiest, but the material is so soft and I love how cushy it is. All four of the end units recline, so I have plenty of options. The matching pillows are a fabulous addition since I enjoy hugging a pillow or using it as a cushion for my laptop. Plus, we discovered that the coffee table is actually on wheels so we can slide it around. How fun!

January Favorites 2014

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

collage of january 2014 favorites including groupons, snow days, yuzen, snuggling, home hopping, moving offices, gloves, origins free facial, and carrabbas first tastesLet’s take a look back on how the year got started!

1. Groupons – Panda really got into getting Groupon deals for our meals and now we often try new places based on what deals he’s been finding. This was one of the places we went for lunch/brunch one time.

2. snow days – Before storm after storm attacked our region, I was still enjoying the snowfall and this one in particular was exciting. Panda and I got a chance to enjoy it together and I had my first work from home day.

3. Yuzen – Jen was kind enough to send me the men’s Yuzen box as a gift for Panda! I love how everything about it really caters to guys more, including the actual look of the box. If you want to know what came in it, watch out for the review.

4. snuggling – I was sick much of the month, so I spent a lot of time resting in bed, getting cozy with the blankets. I love feeling all toasty and swathed in softness. It’s so very comfortable.

5. home hopping – This entire month we had access to both the apartment and condo, so we’d spend time hopping between them. We started moving boxes over to the new place little by little and I spent some time enjoying the space. All was lovely but then I saw the morning traffic and knew I’d be in for quite a change in my morning commute with the move.

6. moving offices – It was really exciting to finally be moving to the new office that I’d been hearing about since I started. Taking some time in the afternoon to go help out and build furniture was a nice break for me from the stress of work. I very proudly helped build something like 8 motorized desks!

7. gloves – Mornings were so cold I had to wear gloves while driving, until my heated steering wheel kicked in. Even then, if I didn’t wear gloves the tops of my hands would be cold. A few times my hair even froze on my way from the apartment to the car.

8. Origins free facial – I’ve been getting the Origins free facial offer for years, but never took advantage of it. This time I decided to give it a try and it was much more thorough that I anticipated. It lasted a good 20 minutes and the lady used seven products on me.

9. Carrabbas First Tastes – Panda and I got to attend our second First Tastes event at Carrabbas and we had a lovely time with the mother daughter pair who sat across from us. This is always a wonderful event to attend and I hope they keep hosting them!

January was all about getting back into the groove out east. We’re truly settling in and everything is feeling like home more and more. What were your favorites in January?

The academic cost of moving

laelene Posted in stories,Tags: , , , , , ,

When I was growing up, my parents and I would move every few years (no, I’m not a military brat nor are we missionaries – the two most common guesses). As a kid, this was never really an issue – I’d just help pack up my stuff and settle into another new room. I’d go to a new school with new teachers and new friends. Life would continue on its merry way and my experiences expanded further. I even went to China for a full year of schooling when I was 9 and came back without skipping a beat. But then came 7th grade.

We were living in St. Louis at the time. I’d been there for 5th and 6th grade. I don’t know when I found out, but sometime in 7th grade my dad found a better job out in New York. We’d be moving over winter break. In a way, I was glad – there was one class I was really struggling with and I was convinced I’d get my first C in the class. That’s a seriously awful grade for a straight-A student with a Chinese-American upbringing. I don’t know if I would have actually done so poorly, but I was glad I’d never have to know! The move to the New York school system meant that that particular class would get lost in the shuffle; there was no equivalent course at my new school, so it wouldn’t transfer and count for a grade.

I thought my problems were over with this fresh start, but boy was I wrong. My counselor at the new school was concerned with placing me in the advanced track in case I had a gap in education (this was only for science and math classes). She convinced my mom and I that the best course of action would be to take the classes for the normal track and then test out of it before starting high school. So I finished up 7th grade and the next year came and went as well… my counselor had left by that point, so when I went to find out how to test back into the advanced track, I hit a wall. There was no such test to be found. I was stuck taking algebra while my peers in advanced placement had moved on to trigonometry (or something like that… the details are fuzzy now).

girl sitting at hotel desk studying with textbook, homework, and graphing calculator

Studying in our Houston hotel room.

What I do remember clearly was that I blazed through my freshman math class with 100% on all homework and an infuriating 98 or 99% on the final. My teacher loved me, probably because I made him feel good as a teacher. At the end of that year, I went to him and asked what I needed to know for the follow year’s math. He got me a book and told me which chapters I’d need to focus on and my mom spent the summer tutoring me. I even brought all my materials with me when we went to visit my dad down in Houston, where he’d been working for awhile. His company headquarters had moved and we were planning on moving there to join him eventually (though we ultimately ended up going out to Los Angeles instead).

Before I started my sophomore year, my mom and I went to the principal and counselor to present all the work I’d done (fully documented in the form of homework and tests). We convinced them to let me take the next level of math with a compromise: they said I still had to sit in the class I was “skipping” due to New York state laws that force you to spend a certain number of hours in that classroom. So I doubled up on math that year and “caught” back up. I don’t remember what happened in science. I wonder if ultimately it made all that much of a difference in my education. The one main component was that I was surrounded by less motivated peers in the normal track, whereas when I got back into the advanced track classes, I was surrounded by overachievers.

Sooo the moral of the story is not to move your kids around in the middle of a school year if you care about high academic performance. Between the different school systems in America, you never know what a transition will do. At least try to hold off until the summer so there’s a much more clean break. I’m going to plan on not moving anytime during the middle and high school years for my kid(s). It’s a whole lot harder to get caught up after the fact and with each step you miss, it could set you back that much more.

365great Day 331: help

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , ,

365great day 331: helpSometimes, the best course of action is to get help. When you’re not very good at something or would be much better with the assistance of others, why waste time trying to go it on your own? I’ve always been taught to be very self-sufficient and I’m just now learning how to lean on others. It took me nearly my entire college career to learn that I sometimes needed help with my coursework, whether from a TA, fellow student, or tutor. I also never considered getting help in the house, like a maid, housekeeper, or nanny. However, I’ve completely rethought that approach after reading an article about not wasting time. It’s an interesting point that hiring people for household chores could be argued as a moral obligation. At the very least, it’s gotten me thinking about the people out there who would love to have a job so they could support their families. Since I am in a position where I can put money towards getting those tasks done and I don’t like doing them, why not hire someone to do it for me? They get to earn a living and I get to not stress about those things. So when it came to moving, Panda and I agreed that we should hire some folks to help us out. I certainly didn’t want to struggle with carrying loads of furniture up and down stairs. And as I’ve learned from watching them today, they’re very good at what they do. I mean, they were carrying couches through our hallways and didn’t leave a mark while I just carried a suitcase and managed to scrape black on the walls. -___- I’m more than happy to pay them for their service so I could get moved faster and with a whole lot less strain. I’ve learned that getting help doesn’t have to affect my pride at all and it can actually be a win-win situation! How great is that?

The move

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , , ,

We finally did it! Panda booked two guys and a truck for today and we got almost everything moved out. There are some stray kitchenware and toiletry items we kept but pretty much everything else is all packed up and moved over. It took a little longer than the two hours we estimated (2.5 total, almost down to the minute), but it felt like quite a bit longer. That was probably due to the prep work we did beforehand and then all the setting up and unpacking afterward. I’m glad that it barely snowed today, so we had pretty decent moving conditions.

It feels great to be moved in, even though there’s plenty of unpacking to be done. At least it’s a chance to reorganize. I’m taking it slow and making sure everything goes in a designated place. It’s also a chance for me clean off some of the things that needed a wiping after some time. While we were moving in, we met some other neighbors who are also Chinese and got a chance to connect with our downstairs neighbor again. It’s going to be fun living here.

room with mattress propped up against wall and wooden headboard for bed

Almost ready for the movers!

room with random items all over floor during moving and packing process

Still had some things to sort out.

living room area with glass desk and leather couch

Have we even prepped this room? Can’t tell.

mover carrying boxes against back using strap

Whoa, that’s how they get all our crazy heavy stuff out.

leather couches wrapped in plastic wrap

Thank goodness they came with all the materials to pad the move.

view of moving truck and guy going up ramp with boxes from third story apartment

We definitely didn’t need a truck so large.

girl sitting against wall of empty room

Now the room feels so spacious!!

guy standing by moving truck loading desk frame

That’s all our stuff, ready to head out.

carpeted stairs covered in brown paper taped together with blue painter's tape

Panda did a great job covering the stairs to protect the carpet.

brown paper paths laid down in condo to protect floor from move

Pathways to every part of the place we’d want access to.

moving truck backed up on driveway unloading through garage

Moving through the garage was pretty convenient.

Furniture building

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses,Tags: , , , ,

Today started off well, with little traffic on the roads! Since DC has so many workers who observe federal holidays, most people were off to MLK Day. When I got to work, it was a more troublesome story, with spotty internet and phone for the first hour. By the time I finally got service back, I began to discover that any phone calls made would be in vain since everyone I was trying to contact takes federal holidays. Sooo I got to work on our new Salesforce migration, making sure any data that didn’t make it over was in the system.

At noon, we met for a company all-hands so the CEO could tell us about our move to the new office space! I’d been hearing about it ever since I started and finally it’s almost here. In fact, one week from today we officially start on that side. How exciting! At 4, a bunch of us volunteered to go over to the new space to build furniture. Between desks, chairs, side tables, and stools, we had our hands full for the next 7 hours. I just finished up at 11 and I’m feeling good about helping out with our new furniture. I was too busy building for many pictures, but here’s what I got:

large room with tons of white desks

The new place is sooo much bigger! We won’t even take up a quarter of it.

view of reston town center ice rink and sunset in distance from nearby building

Spectacular views are to be found on all sides, like this one of the ice rink.

two mesh ikea lawn style chairs freshly built with cardboard boxes in background

The very first chairs I worked on happened to be quite challenging.

three motorized desks newly built with adjustable heights

After building four types of chairs, I spent the rest of the evening making these handy motorized desks. I think I need one for my home!!


laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , , ,

Yay, as of today, Panda and I are officially homeowners! Ok, so technically I’m not on the mortgage but hey, don’t ruin my moment. 😛 It was wild going to what is our NEW HOME tonight just to move a few things and check it out… at night it appears much larger and it feels so surreal that all of that is ours. I hope this freshness and awe lasts for a long time. We really have a spectacular place and I can’t wait to settle in.

fancy room at title company for going through settlement paperwork

This morning, we went to the title company and took care of settlement.

set of four house keys on folder

When it was all said and done, we got our keys!!!

happy girl prancing in kitchen of brand new condo balancing on one leg with arms and other leg outstretched

At night, I had to go visit our new place. Love it!

girl standing hunching in pain as back spasms

Yeah I got a bit ambitious and ended up pulling my back. Oops!

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