Chez Nerdingham


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Weekend Recap

I’m writing this report in real time, AS the weekend is happening! So spoiler alert – nothing terribly exciting went down.

I actually had a three day weekend, my new job observes Cesar Chavez Day so Friday was a holiday. Huzzah! I celebrated by heading to the Costa Mesa Ikea so that I could avoid the weekend crowds which make any Ikea trip a complete nightmare. I went to check out chairs since I don’t have any for my dining table or desk. The dining table wasn’t as emergent as the desk situation, I rarely eat there. However with my precious new iMac I needed a place to sit other than the twin bed in the office/guest room! I’d looked at some online and wanted to try them out in person. If you plan to sit somewhere for a lengthy amount of time, you want to make sure your ass isn’t going to go numb. I was disappointed, if not surprised, to find all the cute chairs I’d liked online were varying levels of discomfort ranging from park bench to OMG MY BACK. I like to save a buck, but not if I’m going to be paying for acupuncture later on for cheap chair inflicted back spasms. <sigh> Since the chair situation is a bit dire at the moment, I did buy two folding chairs for now that I’ll throw on one of the balconies (I have two!) later on once I buy something more permanent. They’re fine for sitting up to about 2 hours, and I guess it’s better for me to get up every once in awhile and leave the computer. That’s why Steve Jobs invented iPads right? Besides my chairs, I did get a few other organizational items for the kitchen because I’m super OCD about organizing drawers as well as some sheets for the aforementioned twin bed.

Upon returning home from my OC adventure, I went to write a check for my April rent and discovered my checks weren’t where I thought they were. The annoying thing about moving is that you pack all your junk in boxes thinking you won’t immediately need most of it. Until your rent is due in four days and your leasing company does not accept EFT. So I was FORCED to tackle the remaining room full of boxes searching for the missing checks. I went through every box and what wasn’t unpacked (like Christmas decorations) was stored fairly neatly but no checks were to be found! Well, I did find checks, but they were from an account I had about 7 years ago and I’ve had at least two accounts (at a different bank) since that time. UGH. I went back to the kitchen, to drown my sorrows in a $6.99 bottle of wine from Trader Joes, and upon shifting a few piles around on the counter discovered the long-lost checks. They’d been there all along! I guess the bright side was I finally cleaned up the office where I expect I’ll be spending a LOT of time with my new roomie/computer. Also the wine (which was now celebratory) helped.

The reminder of my Cesar Chavez Day was spent online, creating this new space and wasting away time on FB/Twitter/etc.


On Saturday I managed to stay home all day! Granted, I left the house twice to walk my dog which is mandatory every day, but the rest of it was spent working on some to-do’s, playing Diablo III (that’s where most of my day went), frantically trying to finish my library book that I need to return tomorrow (FAIL), and finally dropping off that rent check that had caused me so much anxiety the day before. It was a perfect, do-nothing, kind of day. One that I really needed after the hectic pace of the previous few weeks. You see, my parents visited the first week of my new job to help my dog transition. They’re retired and live just 8 hours away so are available to do nice things like that. The weekend before I started work we spent shopping and doing errands, then I spent a week stressing out over a new job, then another weekend of being tourists. As you now know, I’m an introvert so nine days of constant companionship, even people I LOVE, runs me a bit ragged. So my original plan coming into this weekend was to be a complete hermit and just do relaxing things that I enjoy without feeling guilty about it. Mission (thus far) accomplished! Tomorrow I do plan to interact with other humans, I’m going to a spin class and need to buy some food and return my library book. Nothing CRAZY, but I’ll be back out there in the world, at least in the morning!

Now off to play some video games before bedtime, I need my rest for tomorrow’s action packed morning! 🙂


On Sunday I managed to be productive all day! We (I count the dog as a member of the household) got up early for our AM constitutional. I will admit that upon waking I was pretty sure I was going to skip the 9 AM spin class I’d signed up for. However, one of the wonderful things about going on a walk right away is that it somehow gets me going much faster than the usual 4 cups of coffee I relied on in the past when I had a backyard and did not to take my dog on potty excursions. So by the time we returned, I was ready to head to the gym for the final time. Well, just this gym, not all gyms. You see my new job allows me access to a pretty nice gym at a very low rate so I cancelled my fancy gym membership. I’m a bit sad to leave after two years, but it’s hard to justify the added expense! A few more errands rounded out my foray into the world today, namely picking up ingredients to cook jambalaya along with Chrissy Teigen via twitter:)

After wrapping up the #drunkdinnerparty I ended my night here on the computer. Tweeting, blogging, watching youtube videos, the works! All in all, the weekend was just what I needed, I got a lot done and was able to relax enough so that I can face a week of human interaction!




Quiet Please

For  a long time I forced myself to be outgoing and friendly. Moving every few years and starting at a new school will rapidly cultivate skills to “fit in”. My default defense mechanism was/is humor. If I can make people laugh, they’ll want me around and I won’t be lonely, right? It’s not a bad skill, but I don’t think I realized, until fairly recently, how much I relied on this persona I had developed to define me to others and myself. I’m not saying it was fake, not at all. But it was a small piece, and over time I let it become the largest piece. In fact, just a few years ago, others as well as myself would have categorized me as extroverted and outgoing! I was always planning parties or asking people about their lives, my weirdly specific memory came in useful in those situations.

However, I’m not extroverted. Not at all. And living like I WAS, being around  people all the time, trying to pack my calendar and saying yes so I didn’t miss out, really stressed me out. I also was denying some fundamental aspects of myself, being quiet (and needing quiet) is not considered to be conducive to interpersonal relationships. So what changed this? Well, as time wore on I realized I was just stressed out all the damn time, and unhappy, and I couldn’t articulate why. I was anxious and couldn’t sleep. I thought it might be depression, or anxiety, and stressful events in my life probably contributed to those feelings. But one day I watched a Ted Talk by Susan Cain on her new book “Quiet“:

I cried. I saw so much of myself in that short video. I felt like this stranger on a youtube video knew so much about me; more than I knew about myself. I immediately pre-ordered the book, and then began thinking honestly about my myers-briggs “type”. I’ve taken that survey, or a variation on it, many many times before. To be honest, I probably always responded with how I felt I SHOULD respond. I never responded how my gut felt. When I did take it honestly, I had a completely different outcome. And one that really made sense. Depending on the test and the wording of the questions, I come out as an INTJ (very low J) or INTP. And it makes sense that those are considered difficult to distinguish, probably many of the individuals find it hard themselves! I’ve copied some excerpts on this personality style to explain “me”:

It’s Hard To Be an INFJ

INFJs make up only 1% to 3% of the population, the rarest of the personality types. They tend to be perfectionists who fear they aren’t living up to their potential. INFJs can always list the things they’ve left undone but have a hard time counting their accomplishments.

INFJs hold strong convictions and are deeply affected by the suffering of others. However, because they are introverted, they prefer thinking about weighty issues to talking about them. Those who are activists—a role toward which they gravitate—take up causes for moral reasons, not for personal glory or political power.

The INFJ is often found at disaster scenes as a rescue worker. When a person of this type sees people or animals being treated cruelly, he or she may fantasize about getting revenge on the perpetrators. Although INFJs are gentle by nature, they are formidable in battle.

The highly developed intuition of INFJs warns them when trouble lies ahead—for themselves or the world. Some people find INFJs pessimistic or even a little paranoid. However, INFJs are more often right than wrong because their intuition is so accurate. This ability makes them effective problem-solvers with the ability to act insightfully and spontaneously.

When INFJs move into their extraverted mode, as they sometimes do, they can express a range of emotions and opinions quite effectively as they have excellent verbal skills. However, they tend to be cautious about revealing their positions. Like other feeling-judging types, they frequently feel caught between the desire to express their opinions and their reluctance to offend people. Some INFJs vent their private feelings to a few trusted friends. The friends are chosen with care, and the relationships are usually characterized by affection and trust.

When INFJs turn from their feeling to their thinking function, they may appear aloof. Others sometimes conclude that this detachment reflects cynicism. A friend might fear that the insightful INFJ is so perceptive about human nature that the friend himself or herself is being judged. Generally this is not true at all. The INFJ is simply distracted by the need to focus and think. Under stress, INFJs are likely to overlook what’s going on in their immediate environment.

So what does this mean to me? It means that I need to be aware that while I like and enjoy being around people, I really need to make sure I have PLENTY of alone time daily (and preferably a day without human contact each week) in order to manage my energy. It’s difficult to explain to someone who isn’t introverted themselves, I don’t dislike people! I enjoy being around friends, family, co-workers. I even enjoy meeting new people (though the anxiety – aye yi yi). But it saps my energy and if I’m not actively making sure I “recharge” I do get more aloof and irritable. I’m actually much more personable and outgoing when I have regular me time!

I also fall into the trap of always thinking I’m not good enough. To this day I’m perplexed when others ask me for advice or give me praise. I’m also very, VERY sensitive. I like to think that I value logic, but I routinely cry even if the tv show, or book, or commercial isn’t all that sad. Finally, I work really hard at not appearing judgmental. I don’t consider myself judgmental, but I do see how others may perceive what I saw or HOW I say something as judgmental. It’s difficult, and sometimes I miss social cues. But since coming to this realization really changed how I felt about myself and how I interacted with others. By taking some logistical steps to ensure I have “quiet time” regularly – I’m a much better friend. By being honest about my quirks, I’m more aware of them and can mostly manage in social situations:) And being honest about who I am has made me happier in most aspects of my life.


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Where is Nerdingham?

So why the name change? And why Nerdingham?  This is a topic that I’ll revisit, but I’ll attempt to provide a summary that satisfactorily explains why I started a brand new site rather than continuing on the previous site, Painted Lady.

The primary reason is that I started the previous blog intending it to be a more focused web-space and focusing on my love of cosmetics and pretty things.  However, if the last year has taught me anything, it’s that life is infrequently pretty.  Don’t get me wrong, I still maintain my Sephora VIB status (2nd tier – whatever that’s called) and regularly READ beauty blogs.  And honestly, I’d be a terrible beauty blogger because I’m not very adventurous and will spend hours of my life researching “neutral” eye shadows.  I’ll occasionally post on these topics, just don’t expect much on teal eyeliners or anything…ANYTHING with shimmer or sparkles.

So that’s why I decided on a fresh start when the last blog was still in its infancy.  But why “nerdingham”? Well, the one overarching aspect of my personality is that I am a nerd. That is, if you consider sci-fi, fantasy, tech, gaming, etc to be “nerdy”.  People, one of my closest co-workers and someone I consider a friend gave me a Sheldon figure when I left my last job a few weeks ago because I reminded her of that character on The Big Bang Theory. I’ve never been so touched. This is not a subtle side to my personality, but I’ll be the first to admit I spent years, DECADES, trying to hide that part of me.  Because it’s not “cool”. I don’t know if turning 35 triggered it, or a lot of the sh!t I’ve dealt with in the past year had an impact, but I’ve stopped caring about being cool and embraced the nerd that I am.

Now I can’t claim the moniker Nerdingham, that is the name of my clan on “Clash of Clans” and friends I have up in Seattle had already created it when I joined.  But Nerdingham doesn’t just exist in an online multiplayer game or some nerd’s blog-space. It exists wherever there is an individual or group that is pursuing whatever their nerdy interest may be. Comic stores, cons, twitter, games, books, the list is endless!

So welcome to Nerdingham! Just watch out for dragons.

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Blog Redux…Redux?

Remember last fall when I resumed blogging for a grand total of four posts? Yeah, neither do I. That didn’t last long did it? I have a litany of reasons. My ancient laptop kicked the bucket and the iPad while convenient is a pain to use for composing lengthy texts, I had a lot going on in the job-o-sphere, more tumors (and false alarms) for dear Wats, Christmas travel, so on and so forth. It’s all on my twitter feed if you’re really interested.

That said, I’ve now resolved most of the aforementioned challenges! I’m currently writing this on a brand new 27 inch iMac because when I upgrade I really go for it! Also, I drank the apple Kool-aid almost 10 years ago when I purchased my first iPod (Bronson) at the Apple store in Manchester, New Hampshire whilst living in Vermont. Since then it’s all gone downhill …iPod, iPod nano, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and now…my precious iMac.

Regarding the job, I never get into the nitty gritty (of course) but suffice it to say after an extensive interview process that I couldn’t really talk about during Dec-Jan, I’m now in my 2nd week at a new job!  To add a little bit of stress to the transition process, I also had to move.  My last job included housing, and while I did pay rent I couldn’t go on living there once I’d left the payroll. So after accepting the new job I had four weeks to prepare to leave both my office and my house where I’ve spent the last 2 3/4 years. Moving is the worst, but now it’s done and I’m mostly unpacked.

Now onto Watson. Oh Watson and his medical bills:( He had some tumors removed from his mouth last Nov/Dec, which were negative for cancer (hooray!). But it was stressful, and the expense delayed the computer purchase, and then in Feb he grew a NEW tumor on his leg. Luckily, after a relatively inexpensive biopsy (at least compared to full-on surgery) it was determined to also be cancer free and will likely resolve on its own. It’s still hanging around but looks better than a few weeks ago!

So that is my list of excuses and a very brief summary of what I’ve been up to these last few months. In my next post, I’ll address why I’ve started a new blog when the old one was hardly used and the origin of “nerdingham”.