Monthly Archives: August 2012

People Let Me Tell You Bout My Best Friends

Standard

(Click the YouTube video.  You need some background music).

So one of my closest college friends is coming out this weekend, and I’m supa excited!  You know those friends you have who know all your deepest darkest secrets and still love you anyway?  For example:

 They know you don’t like snakes.

They know you once stole grapes from Giant Eagle (true story).

 They know you once tricked a kid in second grade into eating a crayon because you were bored.

 They know you read People magazine in the long lines at the supermarket and then put it back without buying it.

They know you steal extra mints from Chik-fil-A because they’re little drops of heaven and the Chik-fil-A workers are so nice they can’t say no to your over-demanding minty needs.

I have several friends like that, all of whom I love dearly, but Ashleigh is the only one who lives far away from me now.  Boo.

She’s coming into town for our friend’s bridal shower, and I couldn’t be more excited.  I haven’t seen her in over a year.  So we’ll spend the weekend with friends catching up, watching old reruns of Friends as we chow down on awful junk food neither of our butts need.  Open invite, if you want to hang out Friday-Monday just let me know.  We gonna be chillin’ like villians.  Oh yeah, and planning her wedding.

And you know what the best part is?  No Initech for 4 straight days!!!

I’m so happy I have so many best friends in my life.  🙂  Happy thoughts to all of you.

Advertisements

Next Week: W is for Waves and Water

Standard

Man, I’m so not going in alphabetical order, here.

It’s Sunday.  Most people spent the day relaxing with friends and family.  I spent the day at Initech.  This company hates us so much they force us to work weekends too.  They call it “mandatory overtime”.  No one wants to find out what happens if you don’t work overtime, so we all head in there.  It’s depressing.

Thankfully I have a new letter to look forward to.  As summer fades and the new school year begins, I figured I’d spend one last day in the sun catching the waves of Crooked Creek Lake.  Some fun with my friends.

I love summer because I love water.  I’m not a good swimmer, but I might be the best pool floater in the world.  If “Floating in an Inflatable Raft” was an Olympic sport, I’d medal in both singles and doubles.  I’m that good.

So next week I will write about my adventures in the water, looking for dead people, eating too much, and goofing off with people who are like my second family.  Our yearly trip east to Crooked Creek Lake, and the many stories that always seem to follow us there.

See you next week!

Lis

Guinea Pigs

Standard

Wanted: Guinea Pigs (aka: taste testers)

Responsibilities: Cupcake testers this weekend (not part of My Alphabet Year, but still on a weekend, so I thought I’d post here).  You will be trying the good, the bad, and the magnificent.  A lot of cupcake consumption will take place.  You must be willing to eat many different samples.

Skills Needed: Ability to feed oneself.  Ability to eat several cupcakes in one sitting and not barf it up or go on a sugar bender.  Diabetes-free.  No food allergies (serious about those last two there, folks).

To apply: Comment below.  You can comment as a guest, just put your name so I know who you are.

Winners will be chosen and notified via Facebook/email/phone/in person.  Good luck!

Q is for Quidditch

Standard

Sorry for the late post, Initech has officially sucked my soul this week.  I absolutely hate it, but at least I have my blog to come home to.

With a job like mine, you have to be thankful for the little things in life.  Like blogging.

So this weekend’s adventure was one of my favorite on my list.  I was so excited to participate, and, more importantly, to share it with everyone.

About a year and a half ago, some friends and I were discussing how we’d love to play Muggle Quidditch, a newly created game based on the popular game from the Harry Potter series.  The problem, though, was that most Muggle Quidditch teams existed only on college campuses for undergrads and grads.  I wasn’t in college.  Neither were my friends (we’re all still paying back those damn loans, though).

We joked we should form a Quidditch League for the city of Pittsburgh.  And boom, the Pittsburgh Quidditch League was born.

It took awhile to get off the ground.  We didn’t know how to really start a sports league.  I mean, honestly, do you?  Especially for a made up game.  But about six months ago we started regularly hosting games, and we now have close to twenty players who regularly show up for games.

Enough of the shameless plug, though.  🙂  I know you want to hear about the game.

I’m not expecting most of you to join us for a game.  Heck, very few of you reading this are even in the area.  But I know all of you, to some degree, are interested to see what the heck this game entails.  Good thing I have pictures for everyone.

The game of Quidditch is broken down into three main ideas, and is actually surprisingly easy to pick up:

The offense, whose goal is to score goals, plays a game that is a combination of handball/basketball.  They use a deflated volleyball and try to throw it through three goal hoops.  Contact is allowed, and some people will do whatever possible to get the ball.

The defense, whose goal is to prevent goals from being scored by the other team, plays a game similar to dodge ball.  Four players fight for three dodgeballs that they then hurl as hard as they can at opposing team players.  The goalie, also a defensive player, must defend all three hoops.

The seeker, or special teams, plays a game similar to monkey in the middle.  The monkey, or the snitch, has a sock attached to him/her that is worth 30 points.  The seekers must hunt the snitch down and grab the sock.

Joe scores another goal for his team.

The great thing about the game of Muggle Quidditch is that it’s very easy to pick up the game because you can learn it in stages.  Beginners usually learn the role of offense first, because the idea is very simple: score, and avoid dodgeballs at all cost.  Once they master that, they graduate onto defense and seeking.

Here’s what I love about the Pittsburgh Quidditch League: we have become such good friends in the course of the past six months I feel like we’ve known each other for years.  And when I’ve had an awful day at Initech, and need a way to take my frustrations out both on and off the field, my teammates (and by extension friends) are there for me.  They are there for life’s celebrations, for life’s frustrations, and for every moment in between.

Our goalie John warming up.

The other thing I love about our league’s players is how much we love the game of Muggle Quidditch.  It’s such a passion for us.  Most people don’t understand it (many even make fun of me for joining a Quidditch league), but for those of us who have played a game, we couldn’t imagine giving all of our time an energy to a sport like we do to Muggle Quidditch.  We are so passionate about this sport because we truly love it.  It’s fun, it’s crazy, it’s a good workout, and most of all, it’s brought all of us together as a team.

Our goal for the next year is to double in size, so we can start league play.  Right now we play weekly pick up games, but that’s about it.  If you’re ever in the area, we love fans, participants, or even just the casual observer.  I’ve been told by several people that watching Quidditch is just as much fun as playing it.

Emily, one of our Seekers, finally caught the Snitch for 30 extra points

If you’d like to see more pictures, or learn more about the game, I encourage you to click here to look at our website, or just click on the Links I Love button at the top of the page.  There are stats, FAQs, contact information, and even merch for you to browse through.  We try to update it often, and we have a lot of fun information on there to check out.

So my second alphabet weekend is complete (a little late, but again, blame the soul-sucking task force at Initech).  We’re about to embark on the one month anniversary of this blog.  In some respects I can’t believe it’s been that long, and it others I can’t believe it’s ONLY been that long.  2 challenges down, 24 more to go.  I will be back next weekend with a new challenge, and I think it’s going to be a fun one!  I’m so excited to tell you all about it!!

As always, thanks for reading.  You readers make this experience all the more fun for me!

Lis

The First Year of the Rest of My Life

Standard

Happy birthday to me.

I think this is the first birthday of my life where I’m not excited for something to happen.  There’s nothing left to happen.  This is my life, a slippery slope to thirty.

Think about those birthdays when you were younger, those monumental moments.

10 years old, when you finally had made it an entire decade without killing any of your siblings.

11, when you gleefully announced you were too old to display your age on your fingers.

13 when I became my mother’s worst nightmare for a few years.

16, when the state of Pennsylvania, for reasons still unknown, felt I was old enough, tall enough, mature enough to get behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle.

17 when sneaking into rated-R movies lost all of it’s appeal.

18 when I could legally play the lottery, smoke, vote, and now be tried in adult court for my crimes (crap!)

21…well, 21 is 21 🙂

25, the last of those momentous birthdays, where Enterprise and Hertz no longer charge me extra for being a “young and inexperienced driver”.  Again, see above, if the state of Pennsylvania thinks it’s ok to give me my license at 16 I don’t get why rental companies have to be such sticklers about it.

Now…26.  Twenty-frickin’-six.  I have nothing left to celebrate.  No big moments left for a flip of a calendar day to discover.  No wonder adults hate birthdays.  It’s just a sad reminder that all the fingers AND toes on your body (and sometimes your significant other’s too) cannot display your proper age.

My nana is 93.  Lord knows how she gets out of bed in the morning.

I feel like age has this funny coaster ride that all humans must take through life.  When you’re younger you’re just itching to age, to become a year older, a year faster, a year taller, a year smarter.  It continues up through your early twenties, because you want to finally be able to do all those things you never could: drive, smoke (DRUGS ARE BAD, KIDS), vote, drink.  But then we cross this threshold where turning a year older gives you no new gifts.  I don’t wake up tomorrow and automatically get a payraise (HEAR THAT INITECH!!! GIVE ME A PAY RAISE!!!!).  Or an awesome new car.  My student loans don’t suddenly disappear.*  I have nothing new and exciting to look forward to.

It’s why I’m glad I’m on this journey through the alphabet, where I can discover new things about myself, and my life, as I travel through this life.  Sure it doesn’t happen with the flipping of the calendar from year to year, but it’s still, like the birthday days of yore, something to look forward to.  A gift to myself, for 26 weekends.

Tomorrow I’ll post about Q is for Quidditch.  Today, though, is my birthday.  A day of food, festivities, and celebrating twenty-six years of life.  A day spent with the ones I love, the family I was graced with through birth, and created through friendships.  A day, selfishly, all about the things I love.

I hope your August 19th is as great as mine!  If you’re in the area, I’d love to see you today.  🙂  Stop by and say hi!

Lis

*If there is a rich, elderly benefactor reading this (or Bill Gates) who would like to take care of my student loans, please contact me IMMEDIATELY.  We can work out some sort of plan, I am sure.  I can dust your classic literature section of your in-house library.  Push you around in your wheelchair.  Tutor your bratty grand kids.  Just let me know!

Freedom

Standard

Home sick from work today.  I won’t bore you with the gory details.  You probably don’t want them.  Spent a lot of time in bed, sleeping.

I never realized how much a break from Initech would make me feel better, even when it wasn’t under the best of circumstances.  Wow.  I need to use those vacation days I’ve been blessed with a little more often.

What should one do with vacation days?  I feel like what you choose to do on your vacation day says a lot about who you are as a person:

a). Go on a fun trip with friends!  You’re making money while you’re not at work, spend it on a single day getaway

b). Spend the day catching up on all those chores you never seem to get around to doing.  Dust the baseboards, clean out your closets, unclog the tub drain (puke!!)

c). Vacation day is all about me-time.  Mani, pedi, that book I’ve been dying to read.  Go away boy friend/husband/live-in Latin lover (I wish!), this day is all about me!

d). Spend the day on the couch, watching TV and buffing your nails during commercials.  Around noon realize you’re more bored at home than you are at work.

Be honest with yourself, who picked D as either their first or second choice?  Think about this realistically now…

I think I need to move to Europe.  France or Italy.  One of those countries that respect the well-known fact that humans, in fact, do need a break once in awhile.  Aren’t vacations there about 6 weeks a year?  6 weeks, my gosh, what I could do with that time off.  This could become My Alphabet Month, as I blow through the alphabet in just a few short weeks.

Yeah, I think I’m packing my bags tonight.  I’ve got my passport right here.  Europe, here I come!!

Next Week: Q is for Quidditch

Standard

Ok, before you all start on me, I know the Q does not follow A in the alphabet.  It’s not even close.  If you’re going to be that Type-A about my alphabet weekends, I suggest you create your own, complete with adventures that follow the alphabet perfectly.  🙂   That’s just not my style.  I like to keep you on your toes 🙂

So Q…one of the hardest letter to have an adventure with.  So few options.  Should I take a quilting class?  Haha, yeah, nope.  How about i make a quiche?  Been there, done that (and absolutely love it!)  I wanted to do something fun, something different.

For me, this could only mean one option: Q is for Quidditch!

For those of you who don’t hang out with me that much, I recently started a Quidditch league in the greater Pittsburgh area (yes, shameless plug here, just bare with me…)  Before you raise your eyebrow, yes, I’m talking about the made up game from the Harry Potter books.  I swear, this isn’t as crazy as it seems, though.

See, Quidditch is one of the fastest growing sports in America, especially among 20-somethings.  I’m not kidding.  Large colleges and universities throughout the country have campus teams, and an international Quidditch Cup took place in London the week before the summer Olympics kicked off.  Again, you can stop laughing.

We’ve been hosting Quidditch games for the past five months, and have made a ton of friends in the process.  Our league has been slowly growing, and we’re excited to see what the larger crowds may lead to.

And now, lucky readers, you are going to get a first-hand look into the magical world of Muggle Quidditch.

I ask you to keep an open mind as I embark on my next adventure.  We’ve had dozens of people show up with goofy grins on their faces, insisting they’re only here for the photo opportunities (there are plenty), the free food (Harry Potter themed cupcakes), or the beautiful outdoor weather.  If they were honest with themselves, and us, they have no desire to be there.  They could care less about some made up game from a book series they’ve never read.

Out of the dozens of people who have showed up with this attitude, though, 99% of them have fallen in love with the sport.  Yes, to varying degrees (some have never missed a game since–other have only been back once or twice), but all of them have admitted how shocked they were when they realized they were having fun.  Honestly, I’m not making this up.

So next week I’ll let you inside the secretive word of Quidditch through the Pittsburgh Quidditch team.  You’ll meet the teams, the players, and the personalities.  You’ll see the games unfold.  You’ll smell the grass stains and Gatorade.  And you’ll be intrigued enough, just enough, to admit it might be something you’d at least want to learn more about.

There will be lots of friends joining me on this Alphabet Adventure, but as always, it’s an open invitation to all.  If anyone in the Pittsburgh area would like to participate, let me know and I’ll get you plugged in.  Or click on the “Links I Love” tab for more information and directions.

See you next week, readers.  Get ready to learn a ton about this new league sport!

Lis