Category

milestones

Resolution Update + LDW + 10 Years in VB

By | holiday fun, milestones, summer, virginia beach, what have you been doing for the last 10 years? | One Comment

I worked too much this summer. I guess I had it coming — I haven’t spent this few summer days at the beach since…well, I don’t know when. I’ve literally only taken one day off all summer, and that was to head up to Michigan for my brother’s wedding! I took it a little bit easy last week though, and I managed to wear every Lilly Pulitzer dress I own “one last time” this summer (until next week?). The past four days have been jam packed with family, friends, food, fun, and lots and lots of music. And even though I’m sad to see the season end and all my out-of-town guests head home…I’m not as sad as I usually am come September.

Labor Day weekend always makes me feel like summer’s over, but I think I’ve been around here long enough to know better by now. Long enough, as in…it has been exactly 10 years since the day I packed up some stuff, drove down here on a Tuesday, and never left. September in Virginia Beach is always gorgeous. All the crazy people are gone, and even though work is extra busy, I always manage to make it out to the beach on the weekends.

So here’s to another summer, another year in VB, and another September. The year is two-thirds over, and I still have lots to get done.

Work
PMP Certification
ITIL Certification
Salesforce Administrator Certification
Salesforce Advanced Administrator Certification
Force.com Developer Certification
Attend Dreamforce again
Successfully get data governance committee up and running – Launched data governance committee, January 10. Second data governance meeting went really well, February 25.
Develop a new strategy for keeping my email under control – This awesome out-of-office message made it so I didn’t need to worry about drowning in e-mails the entire time I was on vacation: Aloha! I will be on vacation in Hawaii from March 28 through April 5. I will be checking emails intermittently, so if your email is urgent, please write me back and let me know by putting URGENT in the subject line (but keep in mind I’ll be six hours behind EDT). If it can wait until I return, please write me again on or after April 7 because it’s quite possible your original email will be lost in a sea of unread messages in my Inbox by then. 🙂 Pineapples & palm trees, Lisa DeNoia.

Blog
Redesign the blog (again) – Redesigned and renamed the blog, January 26.
Post a series of gluten-free recipes (I’m hoping this will motivate me to cook more?)
Participate in Nicole‘s “Finish This” series – Co-hosting Finish This… series. Wrote four posts in January. I haven’t been doing quite as well with this in February — I’m going to catch up, though. I completely failed at this in March. Sorry, Nicole! And continued to do so in April. I posted one of these in May, but I seriously need to get it together. 🙁
Write something hilarious – My out-of-office message above? 😉
Plan a link-up for next year’s resolutions

Travel
Plan a girls trip – Girls trip to Disney is planned for October 2-6!
Visit Nicole in Texas
Visit Regina in Colorado
Visit Tara in Ohio (or meet her somewhere cool)
Visit my brother in Jacksonville and take a road trip down the coast of Florida to Key West
Eat pineapples in Hawaii – I ate pineapples every day in Hawaii, March 28-April 5.
Play poker in Las Vegas
Taste wine at some vineyards
Take pictures of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse

New Things to Do
Shoot a gun (well)
Learn to play the guitar ukulele (at least one song)
Eat a clam (because I promised J’s sister I would try one of hers) – Ate a clam @ Metropolitan Oyster Exchange, early April. I didn’t love it, but I ate it.
Acquire some kind of bar cart or wine rack (liquor bottles are taking over my counter) – Acquired wine rack/bar, January 12.
Take a dance class
Start a good things jar (or maybe a virtual one) – Started virtual “good things” jar in Evernote, January 4.
Get that damn container of books out of the back of my car – Container of books out of car and put away on a new shelf, January 12.

The Usual
Keep up the horseback riding
Go surfing – Surfed in Waikiki, April 1.
Go ice skating
Do yoga
Host a party @ my house
Read at least 10 good books – Crystal Blue by John H. Cunningham, The Wet and the Dry: A Drinker’s Journey by Lawrence Osborne, Another Roadside Attractions by Tom Robbins, Hawaii by James Michener, Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins, Hoot by Carl Hiassen
Attend a few good concerts – Yarn @ The Jewish Mother, January 27. Taimane @ the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, April 3. Frankie Valli @ Chrysler Hall, April 8. Bruce Springsteen @ the Amphitheater, April 12. Jimmy Buffett @ Farm Bureau Live, May 24. Avett Brothers @ Ntelos Pavilion, June 8. Party Fins @ Town Center, August 27. Vertical Horizon @ Neptune’s Park, August 29. Rusted Root @ Neptune’s Park and Cherry Poppin’ Daddies @ 17th Street Stage, August 30. Train @ 5th Street Stage, August 31.
See a few good plays – Vagina Monologues @ ODU, February 15.
Publish something I’ve written somewhere other than my own blog

Financial Goals
Put more money in the 529 college savings plans I opened for my BFF’s kids
Increase monthly TD Ameritrade transfer to $325 in January and $350 in June – Increased monthly TD transfer to $325, January 4. I don’t know why I said June here. I meant July. But this is done, July 5. 
Start a new business (preferably with another person — I think it would be more fun that way)
Create a 2014 budget and track my progress against it monthly in Mint, Quicken or some other tool
Achieve the savings and net worth goals I wrote down in my budget

For My Well-Being
Get back in the habit of getting regular facials
Have a vegetarian week
Find a new cleaning service – New person has been cleaning my house since early August. 🙂
Watch less TV – I’ve been watching so much less TV. I don’t have time to watch TV.
Get contacts or prescription sunglasses
Join a gym
Run in the R&R Half Marathon (I said I’d never do it again, but I changed my mind) – Fail. I changed by mind back. 🙂
Log 3,650,000 steps on my Fitbit (that’s an average of 10,000 per day) – Walked/ran 246,032 steps and 99.56 miles in January. Walked/ran 214,419 steps and 86.76 miles in February. Walked/ran 183,128 steps and 81.32 miles in March (got a little behind while I was sick for a few days). Walked/ran 258,099 steps and 103.10 miles in April. Walked/ran 237,871 steps and 97.05 miles in May (lost one day because my Fitbit’s battery died). Walked/ran 183,714 steps and 73.57 mils in June. Walked/ran 157,811 steps and 62.77 miles in July (lost three days because my Fitbit’s battery died). Walked/ran 209,014 steps and 83.75 miles in August (lost one day because my Fitbit’s battery died).

And, as usual, make one new resolution every month:
January: Get new running shoes – New running shoes arrived, January 8.
February: Complete Salesforce Administrations Essentials for New Admins (ADM201) training online – I’m almost done, but I have about an hour and half left. However, I’ve accomplished more than eight average human beings this month, so I refuse to insinuate that I failed at this. I’m going to get it done as soon as I can.
March: Complete PMP application – Fail.
April: Stop leaving work after the sun goes down – Accomplished. Thank you, DST.
May: Put a bed in my guest room – Bed in the guest room, May 23. Mattress on the bed, May 25.
June: Have the VHS of my high school history project converted to digital media – Failed. I forgot I even wrote this down.
July: Apply to volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters – Kind of. Apparently Big Brothers Big Sisters only exists on the Peninsula, and they don’t accept volunteers from the Southside. Which makes sense — it would be difficult to commit to driving all the way up there at least once per week. I’ll look for something else.
August: Fail because I didn’t post my update.
September: Sign up for the Salesforce Administrator exam (and take it). Also, beach days. As many beach days as possible.

10 Years Later

By | birthdays, blogs, events, friends, lj, memories, milestones, ruling at life, technological enigmas, what have you been doing for the last 10 years? | 3 Comments

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In case you didn’t notice all the celebrating going on around here, this blog turned 10 years old today. Ten years ago to this very day, I spent about three hours configuring my first LiveJournal, wrote a pretty short, pretty pointless post, and rushed out the door to a party.

Then all of this happened. Plus some other stuff.

And here we are, a decade later. At first when I thought about the fact that I’ve been blogging for almost a third of my life, I was surprised. I’m kind of the most noncommittal person I know. But then I remembered that I started writing in my first diary on December 25, 1987 at the age of six. Really, the only difference was that I didn’t have internet access yet.

I used to carry around these little notebooks in my purse. I would write down funny things that occurred throughout the day and refer back to them later when I was ready to type out a post. Then along came MySpace and Facebook to start draining me of all my good ideas long before I could get around to blogging them.

As the internet, social networking and blogging grew up around me, I thought maybe I could make money off my site if I blogged about more products or material objects that people could buy. I was interested in clothes and photography, so I started a second blog to write about style and fashion. I tried focusing on a topic, growing my readership, and “writing for my audience,” but I felt so materialistic and fake. Plus, keeping up with a second blog was like having a split personality. Lots of times I felt like I couldn’t live up to the persona I created on the second blog, but other times I felt completely the opposite — as though that blog wasn’t really living up to me. So, I merged all my favorite posts over to this blog, shut the second one down, and proceeded to have an eight-month-long identity crisis about the name and subject matter. =)

It’s kind of incredible that after 10 years of doing it, I’m not a better, more “successful” blogger. I don’t have thousands of followers, millions of comments or any idea how to monetize this site. That used to bother me. I thought, “People must think I’m really stupid to just write in a blog for no reason.”

But the thing is, I’ve realized I don’t care about any of those things or what anyone else thinks. I’ve always loved my blog for exactly what it is — a random collection of thoughts and anecdotes I don’t mind sharing with the world. Concentrating on one topic is so not my strong suit. Clothes, food and vacations are not what defines me as a person. And as for my audience…no offense, but I don’t really care what you want to read. Because there’s no one on this earth that loves to read this blog more than I do. And if I could only read one blog for the rest of my life, it would be this one. Over and over again. I assume that if you come here, you want to read whatever I write, and I’m the best at writing when I’m writing whatever I want.

That being said, it also turns out having other people write my blog posts isn’t such a bad idea either. I had these grand plans about choosing my 10 favorite posts and sharing them with you, but then I realized I’m way too narcissistic to pick just 10 favorites. So, I delegated that task to some of my favorite friends/loyal readers. I’m getting better at that — delegating. =)

I’m so grateful for all of my guest bloggers over the last 10 days. All your posts made me feel like I was hosting the best party in the world, where my blog was the guest of honor and all my favorite people were in attendance. And since most of you are either expecting newborns, scattered around the country, or way behind on your Christmas shopping, having you all right here was the perfect alternative to celebrating in real life. Cheers to you, my friends. Your words are worth a thousand pictures in this case, and here’s hoping we’ll all be sitting around re-reading them for the next 10 years.

So, there you have it. Ten years, 722 published posts, 1,684 comments, and I have no idea how many views because there was no way to track that until 2010. Coming up next: the usual Year in Review, Final Resolution Update of 2013 and next year’s list. Oh, and whatever the f- else I feel like posting. =)

I hope you’ll stick around, but I’ll still be here writing either way.

Peace out.

Lisa

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: working_sy accomplished
And I’m singin’ along to: She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5

10 Years, 10 Friends, 10 Days: The Inspiration

By | blogs, boys, guest posts, links, lj, memories, milestones, navy, ruling at life, what have you been doing for the last 10 years? | One Comment

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Inspiration
Ten years on

By Stephen DeNoia

The Coastal Chicster.  Baby You Can(‘t) Drive My Car.  Ramblings of a Pineapple Enthusiast. VTJerseyGirl03.  Ten years on, Lisa’s blog is still thriving, still rolling, still scrolling.  Maybe she should get that tattooed across the backs of her shoulders: “Still Rolling, Still Scrolling”, with like an old script, quill, and scroll motif.  On second thought, it might sound like she’s just an internet addicted ecstasy popper.

Lisa asked me to pick my favorite post from her blog and write about it in honor of her 10 year mark.  I was honored, and the very next morning I started perusing through her old stuff because I  knew I would find my favorite buried somewhere in the archives of ’04 or ’07.  But the more I read, and the more memories got conjured up, and the more I noticed the maturity level increase as time went on what I found is that I cannot possibly choose a favorite.  With that being said, if I absolutely had to choose ONE post that is my favorite then I choose post number 1.  The origin post.  The beginning of an era.  The birth of something magnificent, with a title that speaks wonders to me:  “Stephen inspires me…”  It isn’t a long post.  It isn’t deep.  It doesn’t provoke any reader inward into their own thoughts and feelings.  It isn’t even very long.  Four sentences to be exact.  And they are by no means the four favorite sentences I’ve ever seen her write.  The title on the other hand – that’s what gets me.  It gets me every time.  See if you can follow me as I explain my reasoning.

You see, here we have a blog that has made us laugh when we needed to, or stop and think about the state of the country – or even the world – just when we were so content with our everyday lives.  This blog has even moved some of us to tears, happy or sad.  In 10 years, Lisa has gained a strong following and matured into an artful, witty, and talented writer.  Her blog has transformed – no, evolved into an amalgamation of fashion advice, easy living tips, and funny anecdotes all blanketed underneath a healthy coat of plain old good sense.

These days I like to read about her New Year’s resolution updates the most, but I also take a lot of pleasure out of reading about her cats and trips/vacations.  She has also developed quite a knack for photography and the pictures she takes are always worth the extra look.  Even her fashion posts hold some value to me.  As a guy who is engaged to be married, it isn’t the most terrible idea to keep up on women’s fashion.  To be honest, I think my fiancé may have been somewhat impressed with a few things I knew about the subject when we first started dating, all taken from Lisa’s pages.  (Thanks, Sis, ever the trusty wingman!)  Maybe she’ll start doing a few pieces for the guys.

There’s also plenty of fond memories, like the time she came home a little too tipsy for her own good from Bar A and a trip to the Princess Maria Diner, and proceeded to sing Manfred Mann’s version of “Blinded By The Light” as she fell out of her chair, laughing hysterically about how she was “gonna have to write about this in the – hiccup! – the morning!”  I don’t think she ever did get around to it though.  Or the time she accompanied my parents down to Pensacola to visit me after graduation from A-School.  We spent the weekend buzzed on the beach or poolside at the Margaritaville Hotel.  Lisa has always been one of the best people to share a drink with.  Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes she knows how to relax just right.

Maybe it’s just that I had the chance to be a part of something special, with those late night phone calls about the future of the blog.  But more likely I think that it’s this:  This blog has inspired me.  From tracking Lisa’s employment status during those shaky years in ’03 and ’04, to keeping up with her New Years’ resolutions, I have found myself striving for new heights when I needed to the most.  I don’t think I ever told her just how much her blog meant to me, but it’s something I look forward to reading for a long time coming, no matter what she’s writing about.  So to think that I was able to inspire her, even if it was just that one time, is really something else.  Thanks, Lisa.  Keep “ruling at life.”  Here’s to 10 years past, and 10 more to come.

Feeling:  happyHappy
Music:  All Along the Watchtower- Jimi Hendrix

10 Years, 10 Friends, 10 Days: The Boyfriend

By | blogs, boys, dating, diesel the puggle, guest posts, memories, milestones, what have you been doing for the last 10 years? | 4 Comments

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{2012}

J isn’t much of a blogger, but he was nice enough to contribute post #9. Maybe he had to because he’s my boyfriend? Nah, I think he wrote it because he likes me. Kind of like how when I went through a style blogging phase, he took most of my photos. And how when I went through an eBay selling phase, he shipped most of my packages. And how when I gave up gluten, he stopped inviting me over for dinner because he likes to eat pizza and tortellini. =) Nah, I’m just kidding. He takes me out for Thai and Mexican. All. The. Time. And I know you guys all want to know when we’re going to get married, but seriously? Mind your own business. All you need to know is that we share a Costco membership and a puggle right now. We’ll take care of the rest later. =)

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{2008}

Hi! My name’s John. I’ve never written a blog post before, so please excuse everything forthcoming in this post, as I don’t really know what I’m doing. The Coastal Chicster has asked me to write a guest post to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the best blog around. She’s amazing, so I told her I’d write something. I didn’t promise it would be good, but I committed to make an attempt. Here goes.

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{2010}

First off, I LOVE The Coastal Chicster.  I know her my as beautiful and brilliant girlfriend Lisa. I’ve been fortunate enough to know Lisa since 2008, and I’ve obviously followed (and been mentioned) in her writing over the years.


{2011}

Lisa asked me to pick a favorite post. Wow, that’s hard. She and I have had a lot of great times / trips etc. that she has written about.  I am partial to this one.  That trip was a blast, and she got a ton of great photos that she posted.  I also really like this post. It chronicles our fantastic trip to Chicago to see her brother Stephen graduate Navy Boot Camp.

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{2011}

That being said, my favorite post on this blog hits closer to home.

Ok, so I’m a lucky guy. I’ve got a phenomenal girlfriend, great family, friends and career. Know what else? Lisa and I have a dog. He’s pretty cool. His name is Diesel and this is my favorite post (at the moment) that Lisa has written since I’ve known her. Lisa and I had a great time going to pick him out. We had to defeat smoke and bad directions. There seemed to be peril at every turn. Eventually we got to pick out the dog genius now known as Diesel. This post makes me smile whenever I read it. Lisa was very sweet, and sincere both in the writing of the post and in dealing with the puppy. She wasn’t really a dog person, but I believe she is now.

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{2011}

I’m not sure I’m as smart as Lisa or Diesel, but I’m lucky to have them both in my life. This post resonates with me, as it reflects a great experience that is still ongoing. I hope Lisa continues to write from the heart, as I will be reading.

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{2012}

10 Years, 10 Friends, 10 Days: The Catalyst

By | blogs, boys, dating, friends, guest posts, hot lead singers of bands, memories, milestones, photography, resolutions, school, what have you been doing for the last 10 years? | No Comments

Photo Feb 28, 9 43 02 PM
{the photo that always made me want to be a photographer}

Post #8 is probably the most unexpected, but there was no way I could invite a bunch of friends to post on this blog without including Mikey Q. Those of you who know us would probably be super surprised to hear we’re still friends, and those of you who don’t would never understand. We don’t do very well at keeping in touch, and we haven’t seen each other in years. But the fact of the matter is that there are so many things that just are the way they are because of the many series of events that all sort of happened as a result of our ridiculous relationship between the years of 1998 and 2008 — this blog even existing probably being one of them.

Mike and his lovely wife Stephanie are expecting their third child in just a few days, and I’m so grateful he took a little time to write this for me when he’s got so much on his plate at the moment. If you Quargs ever make it back to the east coast, I’d love to meet the rest of you some day. =)

Let’s get this out of the way early… I’m the ex-boyfriend from high school and most of College. I met Lisa during a history project where we made a Lego video called “Events of 1969″. We covered the Mets winning the World Series, Woodstock, the moon landing and more. I have to admit that it was one of the most epic history projects ever, and it brought Lisa into my life. Despite the roller coaster relationship we have had over the past 15 years, we owe each other a lot.

Admittedly, I had a lot of trouble figuring out what to write in a blog post about a girl I used to know so well, but have hardly spoken to in roughly seven years. My first thought was, “Why the hell does Lisa want me to write anything about her or her blog when there are many people who are surely more qualified than I am to speak about the last few years?” So I pondered…

What hit me was that we are still friends. We share a common bond from a period of life that was so fragile, so turbulent, so exciting, so frustrating, and so instrumental in who we are today that it’s not that weird for me to comment here. This was a lot of heavy stuff for a Wednesday evening. So I started typing…

Lisa asked me what my favorite blog post was. I have been so busy with my own ridiculously fast-paced life, I had really slacked off on reading it. Honestly, I lost a little interest when she started to blog heavily about fashion. The ironic part is that if it weren’t for her, I’d still be wearing green corduroys and flannel shirts. Lisa’s incredible sense of style helped me to transform my wardrobe from grungy teenager to respectable adult, and I still remember some of her rules today. She is bold and creative, and I know she has started more than a few trends with the people around her.

I figured I would go back and look for a good post that brought back happy memories. So I went to her page and did a search for “ex-boyfriend”. Some of the posts were good, but I was shocked that the 2008 resolutions post and updates showed up ELEVEN times in the results. Clearly this was a sign that I should focus on that post.

The best part is that the mention of me is a simple one. “Don’t call my ex-boyfriend.” While I cannot remember the details of why I deserved this, I am sure that I did. Thankfully, my deserved excommunication only lasted until February 18th and we were friends again by April 19th. I won’t say that this is my favorite post, but I will call it the most telling. We have both vowed not to speak to the other again, but obviously we have failed. I think we are finally at a point where we have accepted failure and realized that friendship is a much better arrangement.

Lisa and I have been unable to shake each other (despite a thousand attempts) through some of the happiest and most miserable periods of our lives. We are who we are today because of many of the lessons and experiences we have shared. Wall High, Virginia Tech, Virginia Beach, Florida, The Bahamas, New Orleans, New York City, and many other places hold memories for us. Her family is full of fantastic people who deserve the best life has to offer. They accepted me despite my flaws and I have absolute respect for them. I really look up to her parents, and I owe them for helping me through many tough times, as well. At the end of the day, we wanted different things out of life. That being said, the kind of connection we had at such critical points in our lives creates a bond that lasts forever. Lisa is an incredible woman. Her happiness means a lot to me even across the tremendous distance between us.

My favorite part of her blog is that I get to share in some of that happiness and it gives me comfort to know that her commitment to being awesome has only gotten stronger!

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{April 19, 2008}