Tuesday, April 15, 2014

i know your eyes in the morning sun...

Yup, more Bee Gees in the subject line. Again, don't judge.

Well, I'm not really sure if I have a topic for Tell It To Ya Tuesday, mostly because last week I said a lot and I don't have as much to say now. Although I do have some things to say about last week's topic. I'll cover that in the list.

Some Things You Would Have Done Today If You Were Me (Which You're Not) (But If You Were):

1. Went to work and ran a scrum first thing. For those of you who are not project managers -- which is probably most of you -- when one is using an Agile project management methodology, one also becomes a scrum master, the "scrum" being the daily 15 minute project team meeting. I love the fact that as scrum master I get to boss people around during this meeting and decide who may speak and who has to stay silent. And yes, I love the title scrum master.

2. Pushed some papers around my desk and sent a huge slew of emails until it was time for me to leave for my eye doctor appointment. Yes, for one of you reading this, this means I saw your brother today! I got my eyes checked and dilated -- thus the frightening picture to the right there which later became an exercise in "Caption this!" for my Facebook friends -- after which I picked out a cute pair of new frames, since of course my prescription changed oh so slightly. I don't have vision insurance right now, so the eyeglasses lady kept asking if I wanted some cheaper options than I had picked last time. I said no, I still want Kate Spade frames, the expensive anti-reflective, and the best quality progressive non-bifocals, regardless of cost. Go big or go home. Plus, as I learned last night, I will need the tax deduction!

3. After all that, I drove home in pouring rain while wearing sunglasses. That dilation business is a real pain in the ass. I came home, did some work-from-home time, then put on a sparkly orange skirt and went to Zumba.

4. After the gym I went to Trader Joe's. One of the things I needed was almond butter. Their almond butter is good and slightly less costly than Wegman's. Why the hell is almond butter so expensive, anyway? Does it contain bald eagle tears or something?

5. Once home, I had a hot bath (epsom salts for the win!), ate dinner, watched a little TV, and got online. I was very hurt and annoyed by something I saw that I really wish I could un-see. (redacted, at least for now, but trust me, it was both hurtful and annoying) Yes, I was hurt and I was annoyed, and I know that in time it won't bother me, but it bothered me tonight. I'm doing my Lesley bestest to let it go, let it go...

6. As part of the annoyance-abatement process, I exchanged some hilarious text messages with a few of my girls, and some nice emails with someone who's possibly quite interesting, and made some kickass plans for Friday and Saturday. I really am lucky to have some very good friends.


And so despite any annoyance or dilated pupils, I'm going to bed happy. And I hope you are, too. Much love on ya's, my dears.

Monday, April 14, 2014

as high as a mountain and harder to climb...

Hello, my lovelies.

Today was a most excellent day. This morning I realized that I'm feeling more like myself again. I've got my fight back. Eye of the Tiger, and all that. Why am I feeling so good? Oh hell, I'll list a few reasons for you.

1. I've been listening to the Bee Gees a lot for the last few days. Hey, don't judge. On Saturday, I had a conversation with a dear one about what Bee Gees songs we like, and then Sunday morning as soon as I got in my car the Sirius was playing "How Deep is Your Love?" which, incidentally, is my fave, and I took that as a sign that I need some Brothers Gibb in my life. When I hear their music, it makes me think of things like riding around in my mom's old blue Buick while my sisters, my mom, and I sang along with the radio. So really, for me it's the soundtrack of a happy childhood. Oh and today's subject line is from "Too Much Heaven," natch.

2. I actually finished my taxes tonight, which feels like nothing short of a miracle. I had one W-2, two 1099s, an unemployment form, an education tax credit, and a partridge in a pear tree. Plus, the fact that I'm now the sole proprietor of my own consulting firm meant that I had hella deductions to go over. I really, REALLY hate filling out forms. They're enough to make me break out in hives. But, Turbo Tax made this less painful than I was expecting and now I'm done. And I'll admit that as I hit the "e-file" button I yelled out a quote from this scene from White Heat**. "Made it, Ma! Top o' the world!"

3. Since it is Mmmmmonday! I should tell you that yesterday's cook-ahead for the week was a pot of meatballs, using LesleyMom's recipe. Well, it's not really a recipe per se, since it's not an exact science and all. I used ground beef, pork, and veal, and added Italian breadcrumbs, egg, and a secret blend of spices that I'm not about to reveal here. Tonight I had two of them with zucchini faux-spaghetti and some romano, since I much prefer the romano over the parmesan. And if you don't know the difference between the two, I'm not sure if we can be friends.

4. I had two killer workouts today and they've left me feeling fierce and strong. First there was lunchtime bootcamp class in the office. We've been doing bootcamp twice a week since the beginning of the year, and every class is different but today's was particularly killer. Then, after work I saw my trainer, and did a bunch of things with kettle bells, the Bosu, and the TRX. The best part was that I finished with a few things on the Pilates reformer, which makes my back and hips feel awesomesauce. I told the trainer that one of these times I need her to take my picture when I'm on the reformer. I'm sure it's quite comical, especially once I get my feet into the straps. I mean, normally you have to buy me dinner before I'd agree to such contortions... Actually, dinner and jewelry, now that I think about it.

5. Today I wore cute sandals and capri pants to work, because FINALLY it was warm enough to wear such things. I know it's supposed to get colder toward the end of the week, but for now I'm enjoying the spring weather. Of course, it's freezing in my office and I had to put on my wool cardigan once I got to there, but hey, I'm still dressed for spring. And that's what matters.


Good night, my naughty little monkeys. xoxo


**White Heat is an American classic. Jimmy Cagney was brilliant in it. If you haven't ever watched it, then you might be a Commie. Either that or you didn't grow up with an Irish New Yorker father who would watch this movie whenever it was on, and tell us it was the "first New York broadcast!"

Sunday, April 13, 2014

room without a roof

How was this weekend? Happy!

I'm too tired to say much more than that for now. I hope that if you had the nice weather like I did this weekend that you got to spend some time outside enjoying it. I sure did.

I'm sure you're all on the edge of your seats wondering about this, but the date went well, and I'm going to see him again. I have some uncertainty, but usually unless my date turns out to be Charles Manson or Karl Rove in disguise, I'll say yes to a second date.

I also think that some of my uncertainty could be because I'm still feeling the sting from the last person I dated. Yeah, I think there's some PTSD there for me, and then I get all angrypants because I know I'm not the only victim he's left in his wake. But I keep reminding myself that time heals all wounds and all that. As of today it's been a month since I've seen him, and I feel good about not having to see him ever again. EVER.

In other news, my taxes are not done. In fact, it's pretty safe to say that I'd be willing to do some very, VERY bad things in exchange for getting them done. Yes, I know it's possible to do one's taxes before the second week of April, but somehow that just never happens for me. There's always next year...

Good night, and peace out, Girl Scouts!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

it's going down, i'm yelling timber! you better move, you better dance!

Thursday Three.

1. Earlier today, my niece texted me a photo of her promposal. Yes, this is a thing now, involving some elaborate scheme to ask a girl to the prom. In the picture, she's posing with the lad who is now her prom date, and she's holding a dozen roses from him, and he's holding a big sign with her name on it. Why wasn't this a thing in 1991? I was asked to the prom while I was walking from my Creative Writing class to my AP Physics class, and that particular lad asked me right before the bell rang, presumably so he could run away if I said no. I want a do-over. I'm quite sure my green taffeta dress still fits so I'm good to go.

2. Get ready to be very proud of me. Ready? I'll wait. Okay, we're good. So you want to know why you should be proud of me? Oh, let's just say that a certain blogger you may know has a date this weekend. As I've said before to MoSup, I did not think I would be ready for further punishment this soon, but some nice emails have turned into some nice conversations so let's just see. Plus, hey! Free dinner! A girl's gotta eat, you know. Let's hope this one doesn't also turn out to be a lying sack of shit, shall we? Oh and the usual rules will apply, so if I've promised you a check-in text and you don't get it at the appropriate time, I'm counting on you to make sure I don't end up chopped up in little bits at the bottom of a dumpster.

3. A few weeks ago, I was innocently buying a cup of coffee at a local Wawa. My right arm was splinted due to an injury, so I was doing everything one-handed. Not easy, but I can manage. As I was picking up my coffee to walk over to the register, some miscreant walked by and grabbed my ass. I think he expected he'd get away with it, but instead I went after him and did some yelling. Yeah, I pretty much went Jersey on his ass, since he deserved it. Anyway, I hadn't been back to that particular Wa since that incident, but today I went in there and left with just coffee and no grab-ass. Although my arm is no longer splinted so I could have put up even more of a fight than last time. No ifs, ands, or butts.


That's three. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

yes, i like pina coladas...


No really, I do. That's me drinking a pina colada right there!

I really have no explanation for the goofy grin on my face. I mean, I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that there was a lot of rum in that drink.

Anyway, it's Tuesday, and I should be tellin' it to ya, because that's what I like to do on Tuesdays. For weeks I've been wanting to write a post about online dating, since online dating fails have really put me through the wringer of late. But as I thought more about it, I realized that there are both good and bad things about the online dating, and even though it's been rough for me lately, I find it hard to be bitter about it. So I'm not.

So what's bad? I will tell you: People lie.

If I had to summarize the bad things about online dating, it would just be in this one statement: PEOPLE LIE. Why do they lie? I don't know, because I'm never anything other than sincere, but I'm guessing they lie because they can. They don't know you, they most likely don't know anyone who knows you, they don't know your people and you don't know theirs. They can make anything up about themselves, and you pretty much have to take them at their word, because what else can you do?

By far, the worst lie I've been told has been about marital status. In a rather notable incident, I asked if "currently separated" actually meant "I'm thinking of divorcing and want to see what else is out there first." The person I posed that question to assured me that this was not the case for him, as a legal separation had been filed (lie), the courts were sorting things out and the divorce was in progress (another lie), she knew he was moving on and dating (more lies), and the marriage had really ended three or four years ago (even more lies). I had no way to verify any of this (and really, why should I have to?), so I took him at his word.

Ah, but the truth came out. It always does. And I feel just horrible that I believed any of this and went along with it, as I realize now that someone else was very hurt by this and I never intended to hurt anyone. Had I known what the real story was, I never would have become even remotely involved. But I didn't know. I was lied to.

So what's good? Hope.

Despite any bad experiences, I do have hope. And my hope is that by putting myself out there and by being kind and sincere and not being anyone other than my fabulous self, I will meet someone. The internet makes it possible for me to meet a wider range of men than I'd normally run into doing things like going to work, going to Zumba, and going to knitting group. Of course, I am open to meeting someone in real life as well, but for me the important part is that I'm open to it.

I also get hope just from seeing that there are so many men online. I know that many of them would not be right for me, but just seeing them there reminds me that they're out there. It's an abundance, as my friend MoSup has termed it. Back when MoSup and I were at Certain Graduate School together, I remember taking a trip to the grocery store with her and she told me that she liked going in the bulk food aisle because it reminded her of God's abundance. Well, in some ways the Match dot com is the bulk foods aisle, so I can look around there and be reminded of God's abundance.

I also have hope because there are some good men in my life who I've met online. The relationship didn't work out, but they are good men nonetheless and I value their friendship. And I'm not just saying that because one or more of them will see this but if your code name is Monkeybum, Nuel, or MB, then you should know you rock. And I appreciate it.


Good night, my frisky wee kittens.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

thursday sans theme

Three things? Yeah, let's do three. I seem to have good luck with that, which is fitting since I'm a third child and hold a strong belief that the revolution will be led by my fellow third kids and me. Don't say I didn't warn you.

1. I have recently stepped up my strength-training in a major way, and I am loving the results. With all the Zumba I do, it's easy to just be a cardio junkie, and I'll admit I had neglected the strength-training because I was all "No! Need cardio! Must burn all the calories now!" Twice weekly trainer sessions combined with twice weekly lunchtime bootcamp at work have been very good for me. And now I feel all muscular and strong and KICK-ASS. So if you need someone's ass kicked, you know who to call.

2. Today, this quote really hit home for me:
"Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

3. Tonight for Zumba I wore my skirt that's light blue with a lot of sequins on it. When I went to the locker room after class to get my stuff, there were two little girls (about 7 years old) using lockers near mine, changing after their swim team practice. They told me they liked my sparkles, and I thanked them and said "This is my Queen Elsa skirt," which made them laugh. Then the three of us sang "Let It Go" together as we got ready to leave the gym. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a big fan of singing out loud, and I loved that these two girls sang along with me with no sense of embarrassment about it. Because singing out loud is not embarrassing -- it's awesome. Yet another example of the odd conversations I get into with total strangers, though any day that ends with singing "Let It Go" isn't entirely bad.

That's three, people. Let the storm rage on! The cold never bothered me anyway.

Good night.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

wee non-wordless wednesday

Yep. That's me. In Mexico. I kinda wish I'd bought that hat. I saw a spring break girl with a similar hat, except hers had "THE BOSS" stitched into the brim. And really, that is the hat I wish I had. So I could wear it. Like a boss.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

no tellin' it to ya

Yes, it's Tuesday, but there will be no tell it to ya today. I'm too tired from all the coughing I've been doing, you see. Today I finally went to the doctor and got the good cough syrup, because if I have one more night of bad sleep due to coughing, I just may lose my mind. And no one wants that.

I realize that I have a unique ability to get into weird conversations with strangers, and my trip to the doctor's office was no exception. The medical assistant who took my vitals saw from my chart how much weight I've lost and congratulated me. I said thank you. She then told me that she can't lose weight and that God is keeping her plump so she won't be "giving it away" because allegedly as long as she's plump no one wants to "take it." I've never found that to be true at any weight (Hi, Mom! Thanks for reading!) but that's just me. I didn't really know what to do with all that so I just smiled and nodded. She also told me that she thinks the Malaysian airplane was stolen and all the passengers were "stashed somewhere." Again, I did not know what to do with that. Ah, the things I do to get the good cough syrup.

And now you must excuse me, as my cough meds are kicking in and I need to get some rest. And before I do that, I need to give eyedrops to a cat, lucky girl that I am!

Be well, my loves.

Monday, March 31, 2014

no nom monday

No recipe today. Why? Well, mostly because I did not do a cook-ahead this weekend.

Saturday was taken up with first getting a massage, visiting my sick uncle, saving the day by bringing my uncle a functioning CPAP (sleep apnea machine) and reprogramming it just for him, going to Mass, and watching some movies.

Sunday was occupied with things like sleeping in a little (because goddamn it, I needed it), going to the gym, dragging a nervous cat to the vet, then heading over to Wegman's for some groceries.

I really do love me up some Weggie's, and since I really don't feel like cooking right now, they're taking up the slack for me with their delicious yet healthy cook-at-home options.  So this week's menus will feature such things as stuffed peppers, pork roast, meatloaf, and broiled grouper with guacamole. Not too shabby. As much as I love Weggie's, I wish they would provide blinders for people like me to wear as we walk past the baked goods. Their red velvet everything just looks way too good.

So Mmmmm Monday will return next week, hopefully. I actually have a recipe in mind -- I just need for my cooking mojo to return.

In other news, at around 8:00 PM tonight I saw that one of the headlights on my car was out. About an hour later, I got pulled over by a state trooper regarding said headlight. Seriously? I explained to the statie that it's a new car, I had only just noticed the light was out, I'd been out all day, and since it's nigh on impossible to change the headlight on a Volkswagen, I have to take it the dealer to get it changed. I was almost ready to cry as I said all this. Not because I'm a weeper -- crocodile tears ain't my thing at all -- but just because I feel like I can't take one more thing going wrong right now. He was cool about it and gave me a written warning. No fine and no points. I can live with that.

So, guess who's going to Volkswagen tomorrow? And in totally unrelated news, guess who's going to check out some Beetles at the Volkswagen dealer and inquire about what would be involved in ditching the Jetta for a sweet new Beetle? Yeah, this chick.

Good night.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

weekend this, weekend that

Three things.

1. I've had just about enough of this stupid cough I've picked up. I felt pretty good on Friday, and perhaps overdid it a bit when I stayed out late for a girls' night out with my Zumba instructor friends. But hey, there was wine and homemade limoncello -- how could I say no to all that? I think one of my friends was trying to give me enough drinks to make me agree to attend this year's Zumba instructor convention. Of course, I really do want to go, but the timing of it isn't the greatest as this year they've scheduled it for a weekend when I'm usually on vacation with the family. So we shall see. My point was, though, I've had enough of this cough.

2. I'm not the only sicky in this household. Last night I noticed that Clementine's left eye looked red, and this morning she wouldn't open it, so when I came home from the gym I called around and found a nearby emergency vet to bring her to. I've actually never had to bring her to the vet before, since she was already spayed and had all her shots when I got her, however after today's outing I'd say it's safe to say that Clementine is no fan of the vet. After we came home, she spent about an hour hiding behind the dryer, where I'm sure she was plotting my untimely demise. If I go missing, suspect number one is in the picture to the right there. It turns out that she has an infected eye, and I have to give her drops twice a day for a week. This should be interesting.

3. As you probably gathered from Thursday's blog, I've had a few things on my mind lately. There's more I want to say about all that, but my thoughts are still forming. There is definitely still some sad, but mostly there's relief. While I had been feeling sad that I had wasted a few months on this person, I'm now feeling relieved that it was only months and not years. So yeah, freedom. There is freedom within, there is freedom without, try to catch the deluge in a paper cup...

And that of course is a quote from one of the best bands ever, Crowded House.

Good night, loves.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

thursday themeless three

Three. (3)

1. I miss Mexico!!! I miss the cafe con leche delivery every morning, I miss the frozen tasty beverages on the beach, I miss the lounge chairs and palm trees, I miss the guilt-free reading time, I miss the cute little old lady who made me an omelet every morning, I miss the warm blue water, and I miss teaching Zumba on the beach! Today was a rough day at work so I found a few minutes to hide at my desk and listen to some of my Zumba music on my headphones and imagine I was still on the beach.

2. The cold I have is still kicking my ass. I went out today to buy more cough drops (Lesleygirl pro tip: 1 Halls + 1 Ludens = anti-cold bliss!) and picked up some Carmex, too, since my lips are wicked chapped. As I was standing in line at the CVS, I wondered how many little tubs of Carmex I've bought in my lifetime and of those, how many I've actually ever finished. I mean, you need so little each time you apply, so a little goes a long way. I think usually the chapped lips go away and then I have no idea where the Carmex is months later when I need it again, so I just end up buying a new one. I don't think I have ever actually finished a tub of Carmex. Has anyone?

3.  So this week I finally realized I'd had enough, so I said "WHEN!" And for the most part, I feel good about this. When you realize that you need to completely rid your life of a toxic person, there's some relief and some freedom in that, but then there's also some sad. Sad because everything (oh, and I do mean everything) was a lie. Sad because there is no way to get closure from this person. He lied to me throughout the relationship -- he'd just continue to lie to me now. Sad because I am sure he's saying horrible things about me to anyone who will listen, and I know I did nothing wrong and I was never anything other than sincere. Sad because what I thought we had never existed. I keep reminding myself that I don't miss him; I miss what I thought I had with him. And since what I thought I had with him never existed anyway, then I'd best move on and keep myself open to someone new. Someone new who actually wants to build a relationship and a life with me, and not just talk a big game about wanting those things with me but really acting like I was his dirty little secret.  Someone who is responsible and honest and doesn't blame the whole world for his shortcomings. Yes, someone new. No sociopaths need apply.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

(nearly) wordless wednesday. again.

What was I doing exactly one week ago?


Why, enjoying my morning cafe con leche on my terrace in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, of course!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

baby cried the day the circus came to town...

Time to tell it to ya. There are three things I'll tell ya today.

1. I think I picked up a cold or something. I get them so rarely that I'm all "hey, what's this?" I started the day feeling nasaly (yes, that's a word) but as the day went on I felt exhausted and achy and like there was a porcupine in my throat. I ended up leaving work at 1:30, going home and taking a three hour nap. That helped. After the nap, I got myself some soup as I do not currently have a Soup Bringer in my life. (Soup Bringer = another story for me to tell you another day.)

2. I was feeling a little sad earlier so I cheered myself up by playing karaoke videos on YouTube and singing along. Loudly. Oh and it was some seriously cheesy karaoke. First there was "You Light Up My Life," followed by the theme from "Arthur," then "This One's For You," and finally, "Don't Cry Out Loud." I think there is some serious therapeutic benefit to the cheesy karaoke singing.

3. When one's beach vacation is over, the perfect antidote to the back-to-reality blues is planning yet another beach vacation! This time it'll be a girls' getaway for a weekend down the shore. Two of my besties are flying in from the midwest and we are going to have more fun than humans are allowed to have. I think I've discovered that the secret to getting through some day-to-day things I don't like very much is to have something fun to look forward to. So of course this means that I have to plan yet another vacation to look forward to after this one. Let me know if you want in.

That's enough for now. This big, bad cold and I need some sleep. Good night, loves.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

hola!

Where have I been?


Yup, those are my little feets there, on the beach in Playa del Carmen. People, I cannot even begin to tell you how much I needed this vacation! I mean, JUST LOOK at that beautiful beach! And just imagine that you're on a lounge chair, under a palapa, while a waiter brings you a frozen tropical drink. Not too shabby, right?

Here are some highlights from my trip, in no particular order:

1. Teaching Zumba on the beach. This was even more fun than I had imagined it would be. Each of my classes had between 30 and 60 people, all dancing in the sand, while I was leading them from a little stage behind the lifeguard station. There were people from all over the world at this resort, and one of the great things about Zumba is when you teach it, you don't use any verbal cueing, so anyone can follow you, no matter what language they speak. And I really loved watching so many people try to imitate the sexy little hip-dip I do during the Cumbia.

2. There were many spring breakers there -- they were with their families so they weren't too out of control, but still, they did add a certain "WOO!" element to the fun. They came to my classes and when I'd see them around the resort they'd yell "Zumba lady! WOO!" and shake their hips.

3. While waiting in line at the grill for dinner one night, a little Argentinian girl came up to me, said "Zumba!" and started doing one of my dances, so we danced together while we waited. She didn't know any English, and I only speak un pocito Espanol, but still, we danced.

4. Our room was on the corner of the building, so we had a wrap-around terrace looking out at one of the pools and lots of palm trees. Every morning, room service would bring cafe con leche, yogurt, and rolls, and we enjoyed our coffee out on the terrace. It was such a peaceful start to the day, feeling the warmth of the sun and watching the swaying palms.

5. Reading the Signature of All Things. I loved, loved, LOVED this book. If you haven't already, you should read it. And if you have a Kindle or Nook and want to borrow it, lemme know. I'm crafty with computer nerdery, you know, and I can hook you up.

6. While I would sip my coffee out on the terrace, an orange cat would come visit me and I'd offer him/her some croissant pieces. See, even in Mexico, I have an orange cat. I named him/her Mexican Clementine.

7. Feeling confident while walking around in my swimsuit, and spending a lot of time swimming and floating in the warm blue water of the Caribbean sea. This was so very good for my soul, my loves. Before my vacation, there were a few things stressing me out and making me feel like shit, quite frankly, but putting some distance and time between myself and that-which-stressed-me-out turned out to be exactly what I needed.

There are more highlights, but seven is enough for now. Don't be greedy. Seven days of the week, seven sacraments, seven dwarves, seven highlights.

Oh and as an addendum to highlight number 7, before vacation I had thought about giving up blogging altogether, but I can tell you now that that is not happening. A dear friend who knows me very well told me "I like that you tell it like it is." Yes, that's exactly what I do. And anyone who has a problem with that or would ask me to edit or withhold is probably someone who can't handle the truth or has little use for the truth. Funny how that is. However, that's more of a topic for Tell It To Ya Tuesday, so you'll have to come back soon for that action.

Good night, dear readers.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

themeless thursday

Does Thursday need a theme? I know everyone likes the Throwback Thursday, but I already did that on Facebook. I can't recycle that content here. Recycling hasn't worked out too well for me recently, you know. Took out the recycling? I broke my ulna. Recycled a boyfriend? Don't fucking ask.

In other news, I have a theory that your last few days at work before vacation are hideous so that you will appreciate your vacation all the more. Today was no exception, as things were pretty much nonstop from the moment I walked in the door until I left. (Left without my purse, incidentally. Me am smart!

Work was crazy busy, but it wasn't crazy crazy, and I do appreciate the distinction. There were other bright spots to my day, such as...

  • Morning commute was very low on traffic. Was today a state worker holiday or something?
  • Post-work massage. I needed that action. I've been working out like a beast and my muscles are feeling it. Although I almost cried when she massaged my arms. I had no idea they were so sore.
  • Post-massage Zumba class. 
  • Homemade soup for dinnuh.
  • Some very sweet text messages from someone who's pretty cool. *swoon*
  • And this episode of Friends was on. This particular scene makes me laugh and think of watching this show with my grad school besties:


 

 Well, that's enough for Themeless Thursday. Good night, my naughty little monkeys.

And peace out, girl scouts!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

(nearly) wordless wednesday


Yup, that's where I will be on Saturday. Don't hate.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

tell it to ya tuesday

It's Tuesday, so prepare to get told. TOLD!

Oh wait, except not.

I am formulating something but it hasn't fully developed yet, and it would probably be a bad idea for me to blog about it right now anyway. But I will soon. Probably once I'm back from Mexico.

So instead? I'm numbered-listing yas. How about four? Yay, four!

1. I work with a few people who are just grumpy. All. The. Time. I've nicknamed a few of them Grumpy Cat, and today during a boring meeting that I did not need to go to, I pictured a bunch of anthropomorphic Grumpy Cats sitting around the table. Then I started to wonder if I shook my keys at them, would they all run away? Perhaps I should start bringing keys to meetings. Or maybe a laser pointer.

2. Speaking of cats, I was recently told that the fact that I mentioned the cats here means I am, in fact, a Crazy Cat Lady. Or perhaps just crazy. I can assure you, I'm neither of those things. For one thing, I don't actually have two cats; I have one and a half cats. Clementine is the one cat. After visiting a friend in the midwest who had a sweet orange girl kitty, I decided I wanted one of my own. (Did you know that only 10% of orange kitties are female? True story.) Enter my darling Clementine. Luna, however, found me and I took her in. She's a tiny little thing -- about half the size of Clementine -- but I think that's because she was taken away from her mama at three weeks of age and dumped outside. After she had suffered all of that, of course I took her in. Leaving her outside would've been a death sentence. She was so tiny that she used to sleep in one of the size 7 Crocs that I wear around the house. So if getting one cat that I wanted and taking in a foundling makes me a Crazy Cat Lady, well that's just terrific.

3. Tonight I spent a good chunk of time putting together my Zumba playlists for when I'm in Mexico. I'm keeping the classes pretty basic and simple, yet fun. So I'm doing some nice salsa, meringue, and cumbia (my favorite), and some reggaeton that doesn't involve stomping. People in bare feet really shouldn't stomp, after all. I'm also throwing in some party favorites like "Hey baby (ooh! ah!)" and "Shots." I'm very, very, VERY excited for this. I can't even tell you how much I'm looking forward to this vacation. Mere words cannot convey how badly I need it. I will take lots of pictures, but I may not get to post them until I'm back here in the Garden State.

4. I won't be blogging while I'm away, but once I am back home I do plan to continue doing this more regularly. I started this blog after a breakup when I realized that I didn't miss the boy so much, but I missed having someone to talk to at the end of the day, someone to listen when I want to tell a story. So instead, I started blogging that action, and it helped. I just hope you all realize that those of you reading this are collectively my boyfriend. You'd better start gearing up now for Valentine's day 2015, people.


That's four. Good night, my frisky wee kittens.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mmmm, Monday! the first

This is the very first Mmmm, Monday! Welcome! And as I just typed that "Mmmmmm," it occured to me that I think I've used a different number of M's each time that I have typed it. Ah, but such is the nature of the "mmmmmmmmmmm." One need not discriminate based on number of M's. Also, would anyone else really like some M&M's right about now? Just me?

For this very first edition of the whole-lotta-M's, I'm going to tell you what I cooked yesterday over at Chez Lesleygirl: chili! My chili recipe is a frequent flyer, and I'll tell you why. Actually, it's kinda how the whole cook-ahead-on-Sunday thing started at my house so pull up a chair and sit a while.

See, back when I had the rerouting of the innards, I needed meals that were high in protein, low in carbs, and most importantly to me, delicious. I figured if I could only eat a little something then I wanted it to be a tasty little something.* Many of my friends were eating the chili from the fast food place named after a Wendy**, but really, their chili isn't so good, and it contains an anti-caking agent called silicone dioxide. You know what that is? Sand. As in SAND! And I will pass on that action, thankyouverymuch.

This will not surprise any of you who know me, but this recipe is not an exact science. None of my recipes are. The good part is that it's nigh on impossible to screw them up.

So without further ado, here's the recipe. I can't think of a cute name for it, so if you have a suggestion please leave it in the comments. If I like your idea I'll use it, and as a thank you, I will write you a haiku.

CHILI:

1 to 1.5 lb of ground meat. Any kind you want! This time, I used ground beef, which I usually do because I have the anemia.

Two cans of beans. Again, any kind you want. I usually use pinto as one of them because pinto beans taste like butter, and who doesn't like that? This time I used one can of pintos, and one can of black beans.

Fire-roasted diced tomatoes. I buy either the big can or use two or three of the smaller cans. This time I used three. I wanted more tomatoes. What can I say, I'm from Jersey. We take our tomatoes VERY seriously here!

One bottle of beer. Again, any kind. This time I used a Yard's Saison, for no reason other than that the lad I had dated last summer had left a few of them in my refrigerator and I figured I'd better use it up. I'm not even quite sure what a Saison is, as I prefer lagers and wheat beers myself, so I wasn't planning on actually drinking it.

Chili spice! This is to taste (as much heat as you can handle) and again, any kind you want. However, I must inform you that you really need to buy this chili powder: Teeny Tiny Spice Company of Vermont Chocolate Chili. Chocolate chili? Oh hells YEAH! I know it might sound a little weird, but the taste is outstanding, and I believe that because of this spice, I was able to produce my best batch of chili ever. I'm just sad that I didn't discover this spice until now, at what I hope is the end of winter (please, Baby Jesus).

And it goes like this: Brown the meat. Drain it if you want to. Put it in a big pot along with the beans, tomatoes, and beer. Add the spice. Stir it up, bring it to a boil for a few minutes, then cut the heat and let it simmer with the lid on the pot.

You'll end up with around eight servings. I froze part of it, since this is really more like 12 servings for my little stomach, and I'll get tired of it before I can finish it. Then I take the rest, distribute it into little containers, and it becomes my lunches for the week***.

At some point, I feel like I should explain the sort of diet way of eating that I follow, since it's not at all food pyramid-y, but that is another post for another day, people.

In other news, all this spicy chili will be good preparation for me, because in just four short days, I will be on the beach in Playa del Carmen, Mexico! I haven't been to a resort in four years, and haven't had a real vacation in two years, so I plan to enjoy every minute of this. I'm going to an all-inclusive, and it's actually part of a vacation exchange program for Zumba instructors. I have to teach two short classes on the beach each day, and I get a free resort stay for me and up to three guests. Totally worth it, methinks.

Peace out, girl scouts.



*Doesn't "tasty little something" sound like it belongs in a pickup line of some sort? "How you doin', you tasty little something? You wanna be my sensible high-protein meal?" Yeah, see, this is why I'm bad with the pickup lines. Instead I have to rely on my charm and mysterious appeal.

**I didn't want to type their name exactly the way it should be rendered because I'm sure they have SEO bots crawling all over looking for mentions of them and I didn't want some lawyer telling me I had to cease and desist telling you how bad their chili is.

***Except for Friday, when this good Catholic girl will be eating fish or eggs. Maybe sushi! Yes, I do believe that a $15 spider roll for lunch is a healthy part of any Lenten sacrifice.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

gotta get up and try, try, try...

Yup, Pink. I feels ya on that one.

Three Things I Feel Like Talking About Today:

1. I was super skeptical about going to the chiropractor, however, after just three weeks of their 8 Weeks to Wellness program, all the pain in my right iliotibial band is GONE (that's Runner's Knee, just so you know, although Jumper's Knee would be more accurate for me) and I feel like I have a brand-new knee. I've had this stupid knee pain for a couple years so right now I'm wish I'd done this sooner. In this program, I get adjusted twice a week, work out with the trainer twice a week, and get an hour-long massage. EVERY WEEK. I highly recommend it.

2. I've had a sinus infection sort-of off and on since November. YES, NOVEMBER. Seriously, I feel like I've been living with this sinus infection for so long that we should have joint checking and a registry at Williams-Sonoma. The latest round of antibiotics plus prednisone is just about guaranteed to kill this thing off, which is good news I suppose, if the side effects don't suck my will to live first. I'm a little sad I have to kill it off. We've had so much time together. And I was so looking forward to getting a new frittata pan from Williams-Sonoma!

3. I was thinking of doing a re-mix here on the blog. Well, yes, that means I'll actually start updating again. (Yay!) I was thinking I'd have daily themes -- Mondays will be Mmm... Monday! in which I'll tell you what I cooked the past weekend. I promise that will be more interesting than it sounds. Tuesdays will be "Tell it to ya Tuesday." Quite topical.


That's three. That's enough for now. I have to pace myself.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

just when you think it's safe...

I'M BACK.

I was going to make a list of things that are going on. But I'm too tired for that shit.

So instead this is just a wee post to let you know I'm out and about and all that good stuff.

More soon.

Friday, January 03, 2014

friday four

Just four.

1. Hercules brought a lot of snow. Roughly 8 inches' worth. I worked from home and my biggest accomplishment du jour was digging out my car. But hey, I got 'er done.

2. I am quite taken with the idea of the Moderation 30 Challenge:

"Who's going to join me on my next Moderation30 Challenge?

We're going to try to eat a few more servings of vegetables, eat a little less vegetable oil (read: fast food), get a pedometer and aim for 10-12k steps, and go to bed a little earlier for the next month.

At the end of that month, we'll feel better, have more energy and continue to make positive changes. 

Kind of different then those other challenges, where you feel horrible and count down the days until you start bingeing.

The Moderation Revolution has begun, are you a part of it? Be More 2014."

I'm in. How about you?

3. Tonight I came home and something in my house smells like paint. I didn't paint anything. So why the paint? Life is funny that way, I suppose.

4. If you know anything about the line of business that my current employer is in, then I'll tell you that sometimes I wish I could believe in such things. Right now it would be really nice. Sister could use a little a wisdom.


Good night.


Thursday, January 02, 2014

hercules! hercules!

Yup, we're getting a blizzard, and apparently his name is Hercules. So far, I am not a fan.

Today was back-to-work after having a super awesome Christmas break time. The office was pretty empty -- I suppose that's what having an unlimited vacation policy for employees will get you -- so it was an easy way to transition back to the real world. And then tomorrow I will work from home, thanks to Hercules.

Blizzard preparation is very important, you know, and so I have done the following: baked oatmeal cookies, started a big batch of Zuppa Toscano, bought nacho fixin's, and put a variety of beer in the fridge. Yes, I am prepared.

But now? I must sleep. All that super awesome Christmas break time made me very tired!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

well!

So I have some really good news. I can't share the details just yet, but it looks like yours very truly will be back among the employed very, very soon. And I am unbelievably excited about this opportunity.

Life is good.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

oh hey

So I haven't stuck with the NoBloPoMo. I've been busy. It could be worse, though. I could have given up shaving for the month of November. Although, it's almost winter and really, who's going to see my hairy legs? Hmmm...

Ahem.

Well anyway, life is good. The job search took some interesting turns today. I really can't say what is going on, however, it's been one big lesson in why one should not burn bridges. And once again I found myself feeling all verklemmt over how nice it is that people want to help me.

And now it's late and I must sleep. Hopefully tomorrow will bring some more writing inspiration.

Good night.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

thursday this, thursday that

Today was a pretty good day.

But the pretty good day has me all worn out so now? Sleep. More soon.

Good night.

Friday, November 08, 2013

friday mbr

As in Minimum Blog Requirement.

Also, Saturday and Sunday's blogs may be published late, but they will be published. Oh yes, yes they will!

Peace out, girl scouts!

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

day five

And on the fifth day, our heroine went to see Bon Jovi. And thus, she is now phoning it in with an MBR, or Minimum Blog Requirement.

Good night, my lovelies.

Monday, November 04, 2013

sing a song of four

Okay, so it's November the 4th and my headache is gone, so how about four (4) things? Yay!

1. I had another very positive job interview today. It was for a very interesting company, and even though I was a little iffy about the job when I went in, I left thinking "oh yes, this could be very good." Oh and the interesting company had something I had never seen before -- I had to wait in the lobby outside of the office area for someone to get me. That part wasn't too unusual. The interviewer collected me and then used a prox card to get inside the first set of doors. Also, not unusual in this day and age. Then she leaned her head into a machine that did an ocular scan to let us into the office itself. YES, AN OCULAR SCAN! I mean, how cool is that? It was like something out of Get Smart! They said I'd be issued a laptop and a phone, so now I'm wondering if it would be a shoe phone like Maxwell Smart had. Or perhaps I'd be known as Ninety-Nine.

2. I'm feeling a little ranty about this, but I think I need to publish some sort of guide of things to say (and not say) to a friend that is unemployed. Asking how the job search is going is welcome, especially if you are genuinely concerned and have some encouraging words about how lucky any company would be to have me. Following up the job search question with "well you know it's a bad job market" is not at all welcome. In fact, fuck you and your lack of understanding about the job market in my field if you say that. Asking "So what did you do all day?" is also not cool. Each day I do whatever I can to make progress in my job search -- I send resumes, I write emails, I have phone interviews, I have in-person interviews, I network, etc. Some days it takes all day. Other days it takes about half the day. And other days, such as tomorrow, I will probably spend about four hours trying to get in touch with the unemployment office (don't fucking ask why). I'm not spending all day watching HGTV, that's for sure. And all the job searching is exhausting. Keeping a positive attitude is exhausting. Selling myself over and over is exhausting. So cut me some slack, if you would. I'm doing my best to cut some for myself.

3. I need a haircut. And a massage. And my eyebrows done. Yup, that's about it.


Good night.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

and on the third day

She got a migraine.

Yes, I still get them occasionally. And they are no fun. So tonight will involve rest and trying not to dry heave, lucky girl that I am.

I have an interview tomorrow, as in Monday, so wish me luck with that, good people.

Good night.

Friday, November 01, 2013

nablopomo day one

And we're back!!!

This is day one of the NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month. 30 posts in 30 days. I'm happy to be here!

But let's start small. I have to ease back into this, you know.

Tune in tomorrow...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

one two three FOUR

Well, well, well. Let's begin!

1. It seems like I have acquired quite a few new readers of late. Yes, I can see you. You are welcome to kick back and stay awhile. I wouldn't put this on the internets if I didn't want it to be read. But if what you want is to find out what's going on with me, go ahead and reach out to me. Email, phone, text, the Facebook... you know how to find me.

2. Sometimes blessings wear a disguise. And sometimes they don't. I prefer the latter, since really, if I were a blessing, I'd run around naked. I was recently given several of the running-around-naked variety of blessings. And you know what? I am pretty fucking happy about it.

3. The end result of one blessing is that I'm now back to interviewing for a new job. And let me tell you people, I feel more hopeful about all of this than I have at any other time in my career. This week I had an excellent in-person interview, and several rather promising phone screens. My relief at the not-in-disguise blessing is quickly turning into a sense of joy and thankfulness for whatever good things lie ahead for me.



Good night, my lovelies. NaBloPoMo starts soon, so you'd better prepare yourselves once again for a daily dose of the Lesleygirl. Peace out, Girl Scouts.