Monthly Archives: July 2012

A is for Antique Hunting


Boy, 24 hours after I post and things are already changing.

Letters are rearranging themselves all over the place.  I have no control over it, it seems.  M might now become B, B is being cancelled in favor of Q, and goodness knows what’s going on with X.

I’m exhausted already.  Is this what motherhood is like?  I suddenly imagine all of my letters growing arms and legs and cartoonish eyes and running roughshod through my apartment, jumping on the bed, pulling cereal out of the cupboards as I try desperately to get them to behave.  Where would a mother of twenty-six alphabet letter babies store them when she wasn’t using them?  Maybe I should invest in something teacher-y, like a blackboard.  Or a nice pencil case.

God, Children and Youth is going to be all over me when I decide to have kids.  Dear Children and Youth Services, I promise I will never shove my children into pencil cases.  Not my real children, anyway.  I’m considering it with my alphabet babies.

Annnnnd, time to move on.

So next weekend is the big weekend: the kickoff to my.alphabet.year.  I decided it was only fitting to start at the beginning of the alphabet, with A.  Which means, I’M GOING ANTIQUE HUNTING!!!

I love antique hunting.  I don’t do it enough.  Probably because Initech does not pay me enough.  I studied history in college for four years, so you could say I’m a HUGE nerd.  I was that girl who spent her weekends on the top floor of the library, looking through letters and war memos written by long-gone generals in the British army while they occupied Egypt in the early 20th century.  Don’t laugh, because it’s totally true.   OK, you can laugh a little.  I am willing to admit I’m a nerd.

Antique hunting, then, for me, is so much fun.  I love searching through items looking for that one hidden gem.  If I’m ever on the show Hoarders on television it will be because I finally managed to find the mecca of antiques, as well as a semi-handsome sugar daddy with no record (white-collared crimes may be accepted) to bank roll my love.

Next weekend, though, I will have to settle for my own checkbook.  Which means I might be able to buy a Nixon election pin, if I’m lucky.

I’ve had awful luck antiquing in the past.  One weekend last summer my mom and I went to this antique mall I had heard of in East Liverpool, Ohio.  For those of you who do not live in the area, you need to bring your Kevlar to 90% of East Liverpool.  The antique mall was located smack dab in the middle of that area.  Needless to say we didn’t stay long.  Hit up Eat N’Park instead.

This time, though, I have a recommendation from a coworker.  Yes, there are a few people there who are still in possession of their souls.  He swears I would love the place, he’s bought a lot of retro furniture there for his apartment.  He’s as broke as I am, so I trust the prices won’t be heart-stopping.  Of course, I’m basing all of this on faith.

Check back this week to see how my experience went.  I’ll be sure to post pictures, and if everything goes as planned, I’m sure I’ll have some crazy and/or creepy story to tell.  I seem to attract them.

Alphabet children, assemble!  It’s time we march out on this little adventure!

A is for Antique Hunting, here we come 🙂




The Rules of the Game


Why were our ABC boards never this trendy in elementary school?

By now the anticipation must be coursing through your veins: Lis is starting an AWESOME BLOG!  You could barely sleep last night after reading my post-Olympic post.  You’re dying to know how I’m going to pull this off in a year.  Some of you are thinking to yourself, “I wonder if I can join in on these adventures?”

The answers to those questions are, of course I’m going to pull this off, and YES PLEASE JOIN ME!

Before we start, though, here are the rules I’ve established for the next year:

1. I will complete one adventure every other week for the next year, starting August 3, 2012. This can be slightly flexible to allow for other weekend interruptions, such as holidays, weddings, and dreaded work at Initech.

2. As much as possible, I will try to go in alphabetical order.  That is not always possible, though, given the Pennsylvania weather.  So some weekends will be out of order.  All letters will be covered by the end of the year, though.

3. The alphabet list I have is a working list.  It can, at any time, be altered depending on my mood and ideas.  Part of this year-long journey is about growth.  Maybe even physically.  Would it be such a crime for me to be able to reach the top shelf at the grocery store without climbing on the lower shelves?

4. These activities are designed for anyone at any time.  I can (and plan to) complete many of these activities a la solo.  It’s a way for me to relax, unwind, and regroup.  However, many of these activities are that much more amazing with friends and family, and trust me, over the next year you’ll meet them all.  That being said, let me know if you want to join me on any adventures.  Most of them will be announced a week in advance, so if you’re free, and looking for a fun activity, feel free to let me know.

5. We are working on a next-to-nothing budget right now.  The cheaper the better.  There are a few exceptions to this, which you’ll read about, but even those are being researched, coupon-ed, and discounted as much as possible.

And now, what you’ve all been waiting for: The list of events

A is for Antique Hunting

B is for Bike Riding

C is for Corn Maze

D is for Dance and Dine

E is for Elegance 

F is for Fried Food

G is for Gardens

H is for Hiking Adventures

I is for International Escape

J is for Junk Food Junkie

K is for Kite Flying

L is for Life on the Line

M is for Mason-Dixon Line

N is for Niceties

O is for Organization Patrol

P is for Pamper Party

Q is for Quidditch

R is for Roller Coaster Tycoon

S is for Simon Says

T is for Tourist Trap

U is for Under the Stars

V is for Volunteering

W is for Waves and Water

X is for eXact change

Y is for Yard Sale-ing

Z is for Zoology 

So now I have to ask…what do you think of the list?  Anything you’d add or remove?

I’ll see you in a few days to announce my first destination. Then you can decide if you want to come with me on my initial quest.


Welcome to my world!


So, let’s start this blog with a bit of honesty:

I hate my job.

It’s not a slight annoyance and bitterness, where one might say, “Ho hum, it’s not what I want but I can get through the day” kind of dislike.

No, I’d categorize it as complete and utter loathing.  I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning.  I dread every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I have to go to work.  I have daily count downs at my desk where I say to myself, “Only 6 hours and 41 minutes until I can go home”.  It’s a living nightmare.

In case you couldn’t figure it out, I work in a cubicle.

My living nightmare, every day from 9am to 6pm.

It’s an awful kind of job, and I honestly feel for anyone who works a similar job.  It’s mind numbing to sit in a fabric-covered chair for 8+ hours, staring at the same fabric-covered half walls that surround me, while I have to listen to the gossip, drama, problems, and lives of the dozens of people around me.  There’s a mass of keyboard keys clacking, mouses moving, and phones ringing, all on top of the newest round of delivery food that has just made its appearance.

I was never destined for a cubicle life.  I went to school to be a teacher.  I’m a pretty damn good one too.  Then Obama and the state governments decided to cut the education budget.  All the teaching jobs disappeared over night.  And I found myself desperately looking for  a job, any job, to help pay the thousands of dollars in student loans I still owed.

That’s where this job comes in.

I can’t and won’t call out my company name by its actual title, in case there ever happens to be a reader  on here who works for them.  For the sake of this blog, though, let’s call the company I work for Initech, after the beloved movie Office Space.

Initech offered me a job.  A full time job, with lousy pay, and too many hours, but a job nonetheless.  I took it because I was desperate for money, and stability, and a little tiny part of me thought, “maybe this can work, maybe I can be a cubicle kind of girl.”

It’s been decided since then that I am NOT a cubicle kind of girl.

So how does Initech tie into this blog?  There are pictures of palm trees at the top of this page, about as far away from Initech as you can get.  Which is exactly why I started this blog.

I realized as I slaved away day in and day out at Initech, I was constantly living for the weekends.  I mean, isn’t everyone at a job like this?  You crave the 48 hours of uninterrupted down time you technically have.  It’s a thing of glory.

My problem was that I made it to the weekends so burnt out, I spent most of them on the couch napping while reruns of House Hunters played in the background.  Occasionally I’d meet a friend or two for a late dinner, but more often than not I was standing over my sink eating tuna out of the can wondering how I came to be so awesome at such a young age.

I decided I needed to take a stand and rescue my weekends.  I needed to come up with a way to salvage the time I did have to myself away from Initech, and to have as much fun as I could.  Maybe then, while I was enjoying my life on the weekends, like during the work week would not be so bad.

I knew it couldn’t be an every weekend treat.  I’m in my 20s, between bridal showers, weddings, bachelorettes, and now, to my horror, baby showers, my weekends are often booked months in advance.  There was no way I could squeeze an adventure into every week.  Likewise, one a month seemed too spaced out; I’m busy but not THAT busy.  Every other week, though…now I could handle every other week.

So I sat down to start planning out my 26 adventures I was about to embark on.  Funny enough, it was right in the middle of a very long work shift.  Maybe life at Initech would be slightly better if I actually cared about my job, but I don’t.  Instead, I plan fun activities to do on my weekends for an entire year.

All that was missing was a theme.  Don’t roll your eyes, I’m a teacher.  You should be shocked I didn’t create a bulletin board for this idea.  I’m honestly still considering busting out my stapler tomorrow and doing just that.  I live for themes.  This one year adventure needed a theme.  And, I’ll be honest, I picked an easy one.  Twent-six adventures, twenty-six letters in the alphabet.  Perfect!

So this is my alphabet year blog.  One year of adventures to coincide with each letter of the alphabet.  I have an entire range of activities planned, from the small weekend warrior projects to leaving the country (yes, that is possible).  This is where you hear about every moment, warts and all.

I’m operating on a budget of next to nothing, save for a few big splurges.  Most 5 year olds make more in allowance money every week than I will have to spend on these adventures.  So I might throw in a few hours of overtime now and again at Initech to sponsor my fun.  Gasp.

The company is mixed, depending on my mood.  Some adventures will be for just me.  Others already have friends and family members lined up to participate (you’ll meet them all over this coming year).  This adventure is as much about helping me cope with a ridiculous job as it is about bringing me closer to my friends and family.

I launch August 3rd with my first weekend adventure.   Be sure to stop by to catch up on them all.  There will be lots of stories, lots of pictures, and of course lots of reasons to laugh.  I promise, this will be as much of an adventure for you as it is for me.

Until then,