Wednesday, November 19, 2014

searching for my lost shaker of salt...

So tired after a very busy and active day but I'll share an exciting margarita photo with you.

I'm having so much fun. So glad I took this vacation!!

Good night.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

last night I dreamt of san pedro...

Since I know you want to live vicariously, here's a daily roundup of pictures:

My view as I ate lunch:

My lunch! Tacos de Carnitas. These were totes amazeballs. Oh and that mojito was awesome as well.

After lunch, I changed, went to the beach, and oh hey, what's that? Another mojito!

Tea time! Except I had coffee because hello, I've been up since 4:00 AM. The waiter gave me an assortment of petit fors. I couldn't eat them all but the ones I tried were delicious.

Dinner was at the Asian fusion restaurant. This chef made some excellent sushi, then fired up the hibachi and cooked me some of the best scallops I've ever tasted. So good!

And finally, a photo of the beach at night, taken during my post dinner walk. Good night. Time for some well-deserved sleep! More tomorrow.

Monday, November 17, 2014

vacation all I ever wanted, vacation had to get away...

I'm safely in Baltimore now. Early flight tomorrow so I'm saying good night now. I'll post pictures tomorrow.

Good night!!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

childhood living is easy to do, the things you wanted I bought them for you...

I heard that Wild Horses song again today. Twice. I think it may be following me! For some reason, when I heard it this morning it made me feel kinda verklemmt and I blinked away a couple tears as I was driving. It wasn't a melancholy sort of verklemmt, mind you. More of like a "Mick Jagger, I feels ya."

Moving on...

So tomorrow I am leaving for my trip! Well, I don't actually fly out until Tuesday, but I'm driving down to Baltimore tomorrow. Oh and lest you worry about my telling people that I'm going on vacation and won't be at home, there will be a house sitter here, along with two attack cats.** Plus, there's nothing to steal, unless you're looking for such fine things as protein powder, epsom salts, and workout skirts, 'cause we've got lots of those here at Chez Lesleygirl. Oh and also baby spinach. I bought the BIG pack of baby spinach at BJ's, you see, and I'm not sure if I'll finish it all before I leave.

In case I haven't already mentioned this, I am so excited about this trip that it's not even funny. I've been reading lots of Trip Advisor reviews and everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, sounds just fabulous. Apparently, the resort offers like ten different types of margaritas. I am quite intrigued by the tamarind margarita. I am totally trying that on Tuesday!

In other news, I have quite a few errands to run tomorrow before I head down to Baltimore. So I'd better get to sleep. Night night, kittens.

**There may be a third attack cat. For years, I've had a theory that Clementine has secret boyfriends who come over while I'm out. (Yes, these are some of the little stories I make up to amuse myself.) Two years ago, we were frequently visited by an orange boy tabby who would sit on my front steps and cry for food. It didn't take me too long to figure out that he had been someone's house cat and had been dumped in my neighborhood, and worse, he was declawed so I'm not sure how he was supposed to fend for himself. So I fed the poor scamp and made arrangements with my neighbor cat lady to have him re-homed, and now he lives in Spring Lake, NJ, which is one of the nicest towns down the shore.

Oh where was I? Right, third attack cat. So this morning, when I left my house I locked the door and got in my car, and then I saw an orange tabby come running up the sidewalk and stop right in front of my front steps. Coincidence? I think not. Clearly, this is Clementine's new boyfriend. She's such a player. Oh and I assume it's a boyfriend because over 90% of orange cats are males. Although if Clem wants a girlfriend, that's cool, too. But regardless, I assume that this new cat would also step in as an attack cat if Chez Lesleygirl were under attack.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

saturday mbr

I know I said yesterday was an MBR, but it turned out to be more than just a Minimum, so today you're actually getting a Minimum Blog Requirement.

Today was a very fun day. This evening I went to drag queen bingo for Chairish's 40th birthday soiree. And OMG GUESS WHAT? I won the first round of bingo, which got me a prize of $100. This will come in very handy next week while I'm in Mexico.

Oh and speaking of Mexico, I'm very amused at the number of people who've suggested that perhaps I should have a hot fling while I'm south of the border. As long as it doesn't get it in the way of my going to the beach and sitting on my ass, I suppose that could be arranged. Perhaps. Maybe. You never know.

Good night.

Friday, November 14, 2014

friday mbr

It was my last day at current job, so I guess it's now the former job. I felt more emotional about leaving than I thought I would. Today again I was very touched by all the nice emails people sent me. Two guys that I'd worked with closely on Project From Hell took me to lunch, and I almost cried when I said goodbye to them. Another coworker who has a little aromatherapy business made me some custom bath salts, salt scrub, facial toner, and inhalant-thingy. When she gave them to me she said it was a thank-you for my positive spirit and energy.

The other project managers who approve my timesheets and invoices told me I could leave after lunch and still bill for the full day, but I ended up staying until 4:45 anyway. I wanted to stick around for one last happy hour, of course, since they were doing a little farewell for me at happy hour, plus I doubt I'll ever work somewhere that has a weekly happy hour again. Also, I had to make arrangements for my alter ego to go back to work.

So tonight, I'm just relaxing. I went for a massage after work, cooked myself a nice dinner, and now I'm chilling with the felines while watching movies and knitting. I do still feel a little sad about leaving this job, but at the same time, tonight I feel very excited about what new adventures are ahead.

Oh and it should go without saying, but as of 4:45 this afternoon, I AM ON VACATION!!! Technically, I'm not leaving until Monday evening, but that doesn't matter. Vacation Lesley has already arrived and she's ready to party.

But first, she's ready to sleep. Good night, dear ones.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

it's like this and like that and like this and that

That's a Zumba song. I wouldn't expect you to know it unless you are, like me, the Queen of Zumba. But it's a catchy tune nonetheless. I heard it today while listening to the Zumba station on Pandora while I was at work.

Believe it or not, I've actually been working the last few days. I think they expected me to just show up and take up space for eight hours so I could bill them for my time, but there were some loosed ends that I wanted to tie up, and also I wanted to make things easier for the other project managers who have to take over stuff I was working on. Besides, I would be bored to tears if I didn't have anything to do all day.

One thing keeping me busy? FREE LUNCHES! I guess people there like me because I've been taken to lunch every day this week. Tomorrow is no exception. And they are going to have a little send-off thingy at the Friday happy hour. The office manager even emailed me to ask for some Lesley-friendly snack ideas for happy hour. How sweet is that? I sent my farewell email to the office today, and people wrote me some really nice replies, which I appreciated. I had a very rough patch there at the end of this job, so it was really nice to hear that people liked working with me.

I keep re-reading my offer letter from the new job, just to make sure it's real. It definitely is. My headhunter called me today and I told him that and he laughed and assured me, yes, it's all real. He called because he wants to take me to lunch, along with my friend who referred me to him. Yay, more free lunch! Oh and the new company shall be known as the Lightning Bug, just so you know.

The most exciting news of the day, though, is that I booked my vacation!!!! I'm going to a resort in Mexico on Tuesday for six days. The place where I'm going looks beautiful and was very highly recommended for solo travelers, which was important to me. I was being kinda hesitant because I'm traveling alone, but then this morning I decided to be brave and just book this trip already. So in about 30 minutes, I booked my flights, hotel, airport transfers, and airport parking. I'm flying in and out of BWI (that's Baltimore Washington International, yo) because they only had connecting flights in and out of Philadelphia and since I'm flying home so close to Thanksgiving, there was no way I wanted to connect on an international flight. Southwest flies direct to Cancun from BWI, and they had some fabulous deals anyway. And for parking, there are a few hotels near the airport where you can stay over the night before and then leave your car there while you're away, so I booked one of those deals as well. I'm really excited about this trip! I have earned it!!!

More tomorrow, kittens. Good night.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

throw your pearls before the swine, make the monkey blind...

And if you recognize THAT subject line, then seriously, we may be soulmates. And I don't even believe in soulmates.

Today I officially signed my official offer letter and got my official start date of December the official 1st. It was officially very exciting! I'm kinda tired tonight, though. Having what felt like the same conversation all day long was exhausting. My end of the conversation went something like this "Oh it's a company called (redacted) and I'll be doing (redacted). It's a new role. Yes, it's in King of Prussia. No, that's not a bad commute. Yeah, I know the Turnpike has traffic. Yeah, I know the Turnpike has tolls. Oh sure, I'll miss it here, this has been a great place to work. Yeah, definitely keep in touch. Oh sure, I'd love to come visit after I leave..."

Sometimes I spiced up the commute discussion with nuggets like "Oh I don't mind, I like my car and I have Sirius radio" or "well, my dad commuted from Princeton to Berwyn every day for years, so this doesn't seem so bad" or that my commute to NYC that I had to do periodically for a former job was two hours door to door unless something went wrong with the trains. Like the time there was a problem with "an intruder on the tracks" near Hamilton, so the train I was on couldn't get beyond New Brunswick, and after sitting on that train for over three hours, I finally called the LesleyParents and asked them if they'd come get me and drive me back to my car in Hamilton. Which they totally did because the LesleyParents are awesome that way. After I got back to Hamilton, I was told by the parking attendant that "an intruder on the tracks" = "suicide" so then I felt a little bad about being angry about being stuck on a train for so many hours. I mean, sure I was having a bad day, but I wasn't having a day that was so bad that I'd want to jump in front of the Acela train.

 I didn't understand all the concern about my commute. In the worst of rush hour, it would be an hour to the office. If I stagger my commute (which I plan to do), it'll be 40 minutes. A 40 minute drive to what could possibly be my dream job? Not a huge sacrifice there.

In other news, since I will have the next two weeks off, I'm planning a little vacation for myself. Ideally, I'd like to go to a resort in a tropical location with two goals in mind: go to the beach and sit on my ass. And, I'll be going alone. I'm looking at places I'd be somewhat familiar with, and as you can imagine, I'm a friendly and talkative sort, so I can always make friends once I'm there. Is it nuts to go on a vacation all by myself? If you were me (which you're not) (but if you were), would you do it? This inquiring mind wants to know!

Good night.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

wake me up before you go go...

I had originally planned to tell you a few things in honor of Tell It To Ya Tuesday, but when I sat down to write this all I wanted to do was close my eyes and sleep.

So tonight you get nada. Just a Minimum Blog Requirement so I don't lose NaBloPoMo. And I will write something more substantial tomorrow.

Good night and peace out, girl scouts.

Monday, November 10, 2014

anyway you'll never know the many ways i've tried, and still they lead me back to the long, winding road...

Two things.

1. The "yay!" part about a new job is hearing all the cool new details like benefits packages, yay! In my former life, I really didn't think much about such things. But after two years of paying for my own health insurance, it'll be nice to have someone else pay for that action. I will be very happy to be an actual employee once again. Being a consultant has been nice, and I'm grateful for the experience, but at the end of the day I'm a mercenary, paid to finish a task and then go home. Being an employee brings a different sense of ownership to things. There's not much more I can tell you right now. Stay tuned, kittens.

2. Now that the money part of my life is settled, it gives me time to think about the love part of my life. Or complete lack thereof. Wait, what? I know you're thinking "I thought she said she wasn't going to write about THAT anymore." Well, actually what I said was that I'm not going to mention anyone specific (in totally unrelated news: there is no one specific to mention), but lately I've been thinking a lot about it.

You know the dating website that has all the commercials on TV with a doofus old man in them? Well, I joined that site. The first man I heard from had only one profile photo, and in that one photo he was shirtless and holding an iguana at a resort. I didn't write back. For one, I wasn't interested. And B, I figured it would only be a matter of time until his allegedly witty banter devolved to "Would you like to pet my lizard?" and I will pass on that action, thankyouverymuch. Unfortunately, the doofus old man dating website feels a lot like the Island of Misfit Toys, and there's no helpful Yukon Cornelius to guide the way out of there. (I can only assume that this is because Yukon Cornelius and Hermie finally admitted their true feelings for one another and now run a quaint bed & breakfast in Vermont. Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

In a recent conversation, I told MM that I hate feeling like I'm not anyone's cup of tea** and she said "At least you feel like you could be tea!" This is true. I realize I'm not everyone's cup of tea, and I am well aware that there are many who cannot handle my particular variety of tea, but I still think I'm a good cup of tea. So I'll continue with the hope that there's someone who wants this particular cup of tea. Here endeth the tea metaphor.

That's all I've got for now. Good night.

** "Cup of tea" is pretty much the funniest phrase ever, in my opinion. My Granny used to say it all the time, usually in the context of "Errol Flynn, now that's my cup of tea!" The rest of us have decided we need to keep up the family tradition.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

sunday always comes too late

Hello, dear ones. I hope your weekend was as lovely as mine!

Not much to write about tonight. Actually, it's more accurate to say that there's not much that I feel like writing about tonight. However, you can see the scarf I started there to the right. The lighting isn't the best, but you get the idea.

And the pattern? So super easy. It's only one row, over and over, so it's perfect TV knitting. (Oh and that one row is cast on in multiples of 4 plus 2 extra stitches -- I did 22 -- then *K2, K1 tbl, P1* K2. Every row.)

And do all of this while avoiding feline involvement in your knitting project. If such a thing is possible. I've haven't been knitting a whole lot lately, and the cats were so excited when they saw me start. They were all "OMG! You like playing with string?!! I LIKE PLAYING WITH STRING, TOO!!!!!" and then they got in a snit when I chased them away. Meh, they're cats. They'll get over it.

Good night.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

and use my head alongside my heart...

Yup, another Minimum Blog Requirement.

It was a good day. I had some time to relax and watch TV, got some chores done, and then tonight I went out for a celebratory dinner, after which I came home and started knitting a new scarf (pictures to follow).

And now I'll sign off, because I'd love to get a few more rows done before bed. Good night.

Friday, November 07, 2014

finally friday

And this will be a Minimum Blog Requirement. NaBloPoMo is a cruel rule.

Anyway, since I know you're all on the edge your seats I will tell you that today I got an answer, and the answer was YES!!! I cannot even begin to tell you how relieved and happy I am at this news.

More details soon. Much love on yas.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

when i'm stuck with a day that's gray and lonely...

Four things. Maybe five. I'll see how I feel when I get to four.

1. All day I've had the song "Tomorrow" from Annie in my head. It wasn't all bad, since I was actually stuck with a day that was both gray and lonely, and I did in fact pick up my chin and grin, and sayyyyyyyy ohhhhhhh... the sun'll come out tomorrow...

2. Speaking of tomorrow, NO I DON'T HAVE AN ANSWER YET. I know. I can't believe it, either, although technically my first interview for this particular role was only last week. But hey, I survived that three hour interview, I wrote a kick-ass use case scenario, give me an answer already. So yeah, no word yet and once again I'm being told "tomorrow." So I gotta hang on 'til tomorrowwww, come what mayyyy... Oh and I really don't want to talk about it, but I figure that the six of you who actually still read this can know about it. I assume you're on Team Lesley, after all. Those of you who are not on Team Lesley can join the Anti-Lesley Network by clicking the X in the upper right corner of your screen.

3. I made some kick-ass chicken for dinner tonight, and yay! I have leftovers for tomorrow! Since I was feeling all Becky Home-Ecky, I made my very own mushroom spice mix, which I was told would "unlock umami" in my food. (That sounds pretty sexy, right? I mean, who wouldn't want to unlock umami?) So, I mixed up the mushroom spice, and then used it on chicken thighs which I cooked in ghee. Ghee is pretty amazeballs. I used to only buy it once in a while because it was very expensive, but then a South Asian grocery store opened in my fair city, and they sell some very good quality ghee there for cheap. And some very interesting teas and vegetables, too. I usually cook chicken thighs these days because chicken breast can get very dried out and then Seymour the Pouch gets irritated, and well, you don't want to know what feels like. I watched a video on YouTube about how to de-bone chicken thighs with kitchen shears, so not only did I debone those suckers, but I stashed the bones in my freezer so that I can use them to make a batch of bone broth. Also quite Becky Home-Ecky, I thought.

4. Someday I would love to work in an office where no one feels the need to comment on what other people are eating. Or at least where no one feels the need to comment on what I am eating. I'm starting to doubt that such a place exists, though. Today I heated up my lunch and was walking back to my desk when a really annoying coworker said "What is that? That is not enough food!" and she went on and on and made a smirk like "You'll be sorry!" I answered that it was 4 oz of shrimp with two cups of cooked baby spinach, although as those words were coming out of my mouth I thought "Why am I even explaining this?" So yeah, find me an office that doesn't do this. Please.

5. It looks like Project From Hell may be meeting an untimely demise. It's a long and mostly unbloggable story, but the Vendor From Hell has turned out to be completely incompetent, and for added fun, the vendor is now missing in action. So I have a non-working, unlaunchable product, and no one is helping me or my team. I'm not even sad that they may pull the plug on this project. There's no way any of us could have seen this coming. To quote the wise James Ingram, I did my best but I guess my best wasn't good enough...

Oh wait, today's not a day for quoting black man ballads, it's a day for quoting Annie!

Good night, loves. More blogging for you tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow, you're only a day away...

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

remember remember the fifth of november...

The gunpowder treason and plot!

Yup, it's Guy Fawkes Day. Or V for Vendetta day for those of you who know Alan Moore better than you know your English history.

More importantly, today marks just one (1) month until the sacred festival of Lesleymas. That's thirty (30) days, people. And there are tons of great sales starting now, so no excuses to delay your Lesleymas shopping!

In other news, I'm tired, so it's off to Sleepytime for me. I have a date with the Sand Man now.

Good night!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

no sweeping exits or offstage lines...

If you recognize the subject line lyric, then I think I owe you a beer and a punch in the arm. It's from Wild Horses by the Rolling Stones. I hadn't heard that song in a really long time, but today I heard it three (3) times. Weird, right? I KNOW!

So what is up with the sudden trend of people selling mascara on Facebook? I feel like at least once a week I'm invited to a mascara party and people keep posting pictures of themselves making what they think is a face that shows off their crazy long eyelashes but which I think looks like a zombie face. I don't get it. I can't relate to this. Most days I can't be bothered with mascara. It gets goopy, it runs when I go to the gym and sweat like a beast, and most importantly, my eyelashes are short and sparse so the mascara doesn't have much to work with. (The stubby eyelashes are a symptom of thyroid disease. Ah yes, thyroid disease, the gift that keeps on giving!)  Also, are there any men who even notice the allegedly giant mascaraed eyelashes? I'm just asking. Seriously though, it's enough already with all the multi-level marketing mascara parties on Facebook.

Since I know you are all on the edge of your seats, I'll just tell you that there's no, uh, feedback yet regarding my, uh, homework. I'm being told "soon," though, so there's that. Tonight I had a nice conversation with a good friend who's kinda like my big brother. He does similar work to what I do, and he had a few stories about the homework assignments he's been given in various interview homework-giving processes. It was oddly reassuring, really. And while I do hope I have good news to report very soon (please, God) I'm feeling very chill and zen about things now. Not sure why, but I'm not even going to question it. Chill and zen? I'll take it.

That's about it for now. Thus endeth Day 4 of NaBloPoMo. Lesleygirl out!

Monday, November 03, 2014

roots that spread so deep bring life to frozen ground...

Three things, since it's the 3rd day of NaBloPoMo. But three short things, because I'm tired.

1. Work was actually not annoying today. Well, truth be told I was ready to hit the amaretto around 9:30 AM, but then I didn't want the carbs so I refrained. That and it's really not a good idea. But my day got better after that. I think I've reached the "acceptance" phase of Project From Hell and so nothing that goes on really bothers me anymore. But man, some people on my project team are cranky. Poor guys.

2. Most years I don't like seeing so much Christmas stuff in November, but this year I say BRING IT. I'll be very honest with you: last year, the holy trinity of Thanksgiving, Lesleymas, and Christmas all sucked with a capital SUCKED for me. (Oh and New Year's was no fucking picnic, either.) They sucked so much that I hardly even blogged in those months, and you know something's got to be wrong if I'm not doing that. Well, not this year. Oh no, not this year. Not on my watch! I plan to enjoy the hell out of this holiday season, and I'm going to buy more fun decorations and watch cheesy Hallmark movies and put my tree up early and the whole deal. I might even go really crazy and plan a fun night out for Lesleymas! You're all invited, of course. I still have my Santa hat with my name on it in glitter from when I was in sixth grade. I may start wearing that, too, but of course I'd wait until December for that action. There are some conventions I'll observe, you know. Oh and I want one of those ceramic Christmas trees that everyone's Mom painted in the 70s that has the lightbulb inside of it and the little plastic ornament bulbs that light up. My niece Noodles works at a paint-your-own pottery place when she's home, so maybe when she's home for Thanksgiving break I'll swing over there and paint one of those while she's working.

3. I finished my, uh, homework assignment and it will be delivered to the homework assigners tomorrow. And then we will see what happens. Alea iacta est**, and all that. And I do have other irons in the fire should that one not pan out. My phone's been ringing off the hook, which is not entirely a bad thing.

** That's "The die is cast" for those of you who don't geek out on dead languages like I do.

Good night, my dear ones.