So I Had a Good Day…?

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Most of you regular readers to my blog know that I occasionally whine about Initech, my awful office job I currently have.  And when I say occasionally, what I actually mean is every moment of every day!  It’s a stressful job, with crappy hours and crappy pay, and most of the time I’d rather be in the middle of a root canal than be faced with another minute at my desk.  That’s why I lovingly refer to it as Initech, after the cult classic Office Space.

InitechIf you think back to August, when I launched this blog (back before I became the international sensation that I am in the blogosphere), I told you the main reason this blog existed was because my soul-sucking job had me questioning where my life was headed at age 25.  I figured I’d take a year, have some fun, and see if I couldn’t rediscover who I was.

6 months into this project and I’m gearing up for an international trip this weekend, for the soul purpose of blogging about it on Sunday! 🙂  I’d say we’re deep in the thickets of soul-searching here.  And I love it!

What I love even more, though, is the simple fact that today, of all days, I had a good day at work.  Let me repeat that for those of you who are in a state of shock: I had a good day at work today!  Crazy, right?!

Now, don’t get me wrong, the job was still awful.  People yelling, manager’s micromanaging, co-workers who can’t figure out how to do their jobs, state government systems that I want to burn to the ground. (I’m talking to you, Hawaii!!)  But today, of all days, was a good day simply because my coworkers (and now friends) made it a good day.  Through laughter, and food, and some well-needed breaks, we made it through another day together.  And after work I realized, all the job crap aside, it was a pretty good day.

I’m not sure if this job will ever last for me.  It’s not my thing, this cubicle atmosphere.  But Initech is a part of my life now, and I have to take what I can from the job.  What I’ve taken is a great appreciation for good friends, those in my office and those in the Minnesota office, who keep me laughing all day.  Our motto at work is simply “If you don’t laugh, you cry,” and we take this to heart every day.  🙂

Friends and a blog, that is what Initech has given me.  I’m kind of OK with that.  For today anyway.

See you on Sunday when I’m home from Canada!

E

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Next Week: I is for International Escape

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Hello everyone!!!

What a great weekend it’s been after a frightfully ghastly week at Initech!  My mom came out to Pittsburgh to visit for the weekend, and we had a ton of fun shopping, seeing all the great sites downtown, eating way too much food, and watching awful Food Network shows.  It was a much needed respite after the week from hell I had at Initech.  Nothing quite like logging 65+ hours in one work week to make you realize how much you honestly hate your job.  For 5 days the only things I saw were my office, my bed, and the shower.  That’s it!!  Now I’ve had a fabulous weekend and an extra Monday off to sit in front of my TV and watch Game of Thrones.  Or maybe Downton Abbey, I haven’t decided yet! 😛

Toronto_Skyline_from_Wards_IslandSo it’s been awhile, but I cannot WAIT to tell you about the adventures I have planned for next weekend.  This is the big kahuna, the one we’ve all been waiting for, the creme de la creme, we’re all in.  Next weekend, I’m going international!

I love international travel, but can rarely afford it.  I’ve been to Canada with my family in an always-interesting Day Family Vacation.  In college, I studied abroad in Italy and got to see all sorts of wonderful things.  And I went to the Bahamas last year with my favorite (and only) sister.  Sadly, though, that’s all my passport has been used for.

Next weekend, though, I’m heading abroad again, and joining the ranks of international travelers.  I’m heading up north, way north, to the wonderful lands of Canada, and more specifically Toronto!

Don’t laugh, if you remember from my very first post, this entire blog is operating on a shoestring budget.  The total weekend trip will probably be priced at less than $200 (US).  For an international trip with my college roommate, I consider that a steal of a deal!!  I’m not sure I could spend a weekend in Philly for $200.  I’m not sure I’d want to either. 🙂

TorontoSo here’s what we’ll be doing: on Friday morning, after a late night sleepover filled with Friends episodes, ice cream, and probably a glass of wine on my part, my college roommate and I will embark on the 3 1/2 hour drive up to the Canadian border.  I can’t believe it’s that close to Pittsburgh!  We will have my old, dear car Wilson stock piled with snacks, suitcases, and enough 90s boy bands to make anyone jealous (we might rock some old Nsync concert tour tshirts too.  This has yet to be determined)  Our hotel is actually in Niagara Canada, right over the border, and it is preeeeeeettttttttyyyyy sketchy.  As in, we’re bringing sleeping bags just in case sketchy.  But what’s an out-of-country adventure without a good old-fashioned sketchy hotel?!?

We’ll see the Falls, because you can’t go to Canada without seeing the falls, win thousands at the casino, spend too much money on good food and drinks, and try out our awesome Canadian pick up lines. as well as maybe visit this site a time or two, for all you How I Met Your Mother fans!!!  Old King Clancy ftw!!!

Saturday we’re booking it to Toronto, for some touristy awesomeness.  We’ll be visiting the CN Tower, and maybe the hockey HOF.  I have heard the Toronto Chinatown is a must-see (Canadian Asians, what a novelty!!), and also have a bucket list of restaurants I need to try while I’m in town.  I’m not sure my waistline can support this trip.  I might be walking home!!

I’m excited to leave for this trip, mainly because it is just so incredibly random!! 🙂  Aren’t random trips the best?  We don’t have a real serious itinerary, so we’ll just see what we wanna see, do what we wanna do, and then head back to the best city in the world!

Let me know if there are any must-see places in Toronto we need to visit.  The crazier the better, this trip is already halfway into the loony bin!  And make sure you stop back next week to hear all about our International Adventures!!!

Go Alan Thicke!! 😀

E

N is for Niceties

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Hello my wonderful readers, how are you today?  I hope you’re enjoy the snow, and the fact that February is slowly coming to an end.  Come on March!!!! 🙂

It’s been a good weekend.  A Die Hard marathon, Penguins hockey, and the season finale of Downton Abbey tonight (although I don’t want to watch it because I know what happens and I’m super mad!!)  If Initech wasn’t driving me so crazy during the work week, I’d say I would be having a blast!! 😀

So if you’ve been waiting all week to find out what I’ve been up to with my alphabet weekends, I’m happy to tell you I can finally let you in on my closely-guarded secret.  Not too closely guarded, mind you, but close enough!

When I decided to start this year-long adventure, there were a lot of weekend activities I chose that were different, outside the normal realm of my average weekend.  I chose things I had never done before, things I was afraid to try, things I hated doing, things I knew would be once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.  If I was going to invest an entire year to blogging, I wanted to make sure at the end of the year I could look back and say, wow, I did a lot of stuff!! So far about 6 months into this, that has definitely been true.

A few things on the list were added simply because I wanted to be goofy, and have fun, and have funny stories someday when people asked, “What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done when _______?”  And this weekend was no different.  I wanted to do something wacky, something crazy, and I decided to do it at the library.

I love surprises.  I love giving surprises, and I love receiving surprises.  To me, surprising someone is the ultimate way of showing them you care, you love them, you were simply thinking about them.  And in a way, I think it’s a super humbling experience.  I honestly can’t get enough of them.

What I love more than surprises, though, are random acts of kindness.  I love when you find a stranger has done something wonderful for you simply because.  At Christmas I paid for the car behind me in the drive-thru.  A few weeks ago someone left an extra quarter at the soda machine that I desperately needed.  Those experiences are the most humbling of all, because it shows that you want to do something nice, but expect no recognition in return.  They help me believe that even in a world that is full of wars, crimes, violence, and drug problems, there is still a small part of human nature that wants to do good in this world.

So I decided to do a few random acts of kindness this weekend, but venture a little more to the crazy side of it.  I couldn’t go pay for everyone’s meal at Eat N’Park, nor could I really afford to go and play the lottery for everyone (I wish).  But in my opinion, sometimes the biggest acts of kindness come from a small inspiration, and that’s what I tried to do this weekend.

20130217_125337To set up my sting (as I called it), I headed out to the Hampton library.  It’s a wonderful library, nice and big, and deserted (damn you, Kindle!) the perfect place to get lost and set up shop.  I headed in, found a back corner where I couldn’t be disturbed, and dug the supplies out of my over-sized purse.

The idea was simple: I was going to write out inspiring thoughts, compliments, and quotes on index cards, and hide them in books all over the library.  Completely harmless, absolutely anonymous (unless some crazy goes dusting for finger prints), and best of all, hopefully positive and/or uplifting to the people who eventually find them.  On the back of each card I simply put the URL for this blog post, in case they wondered why in the heck some random card was stashed in their book.  And then I went to work.

Half of the fun was choosing which books to place the cards in.  On one card I simply  wrote “You are beautiful”.  I found a well-worn copy of a popular diet book on one shelf and hid the card within the pages of it for someone to find.  Hopefully it will remind them that no matter what they think about themselves, they are still beautiful. 20130217_125408 One quote about the power we find within ourselves I hid in a book about 20th century dictators (see the irony there!)  Some cards were hidden in best sellers, others in books I’m not sure had been removed from the shelf in over 20 years.  Some were left in books I love, like on the right, a card left in the book Unbroken, while I purposefully also stuck a card in Dante’s Inferno, one of my least-favorite books. 🙂  I figured if some poor soul was stuck reading Dante, they might need a little motivation to not gouge their eyeballs out.

In the end, some nosy librarian might have stalked me around the building, documented every book I touched, and then removed all the cards after I left the building, and no one will be able to see everything I hid.  But maybe, just maybe, a few will be discovered by random people throughout Allegheny County, people who need a good reason to laugh, or a smile, or a kind word.  They might throw it out, they might think it’s creepy, they might even ignore it.  But that’s the wonderful thing about random acts of kindness: you never know where they might lead, or who they might help, or how they might change the world. 🙂

Be inspired, and find a random act of kindness to do sometimes this week.  Maybe we can start a new trend, blowing up libraries around the world with index cards.  If you leave index card compliments in any books, leave me a comment and let me know so we can see if anything comes of it.  Maybe some how we’ll be the voice of good in 2013. 🙂

I hope you have a wonderful week, wherever you may be in life.  Stay warm, and stay tuned, because we have a super exciting announcement coming up next week!!! 🙂

E

Next Week: N is for Niceties

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Happy Sunday everyone!!!  How beautiful is it outside today!?  The sun is shining, the snow is melting, and right now my apartment smells like rosemary and garlic.  Try that topped on potatoes.  Take a minute and think about the explosion in your mouth!!  They’re almost don’t cooking, and I can’t wait to eat it.

DowntonAbbey1On top of that, I have bread baking in my slow cooker, a Friends marathon is on TBS currently, and some buffalo chicken dip is due to be consumed in about an hour.  Oh, and Downton Abby is on tonight, holla!!!!  Is anyone else as obsessed with that show as I am??  I seriously cannot get enough of that wonderful show.  Here’s my question, though, does anyone else keep track of how many times you want to smack Mary Crawley in a single episode?

Enough about my wonderful day, though, let’s talk about my adventure next weekend.  Next week is one of those random adventures I’ve always wanted to try, but never had the guts/time/ability to do so.   Not next weekend, though, next weekend, I’m finally making it happen.

Here’s the thing about next week’s surprise: I can’t tell anyone!  Maybe next week should be title S is for Secret, because this adventure has to go off without anyone knowing what’s going on.  I hope you weren’t too excited to hear about it this week, because there’s no way I can tell you!  But I’m super excited about it, and I hope that’s enough of a reason for you to be excited too!

So I’m off to work for a few hours, logging that overtime early to help keep ahead of the storm that is approaching at Initech.  Then it’s food, Downton, and some steamed Boston bread.  Let’s see how this turns out!!

Have a wonderful week.  Try not to think too much about my adventure next week.  And check back next week to see exactly what happened.

E

O is for Organization Patrol

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Well, I’m finally here again!!!  Sorry for the lack of posts, Initech and my bakery have been sucking my free time up.  Right now I’m watching the hockey game while blogging, and after I’m done I’m going to work out and watch the hockey game.  I am a moving girl!!!

So this went down several weeks ago, but I wanted to let you know about my organizational party that went down.  As you guys probably remember, I’m not the most organized person in the world.  I promise, I try to be, but the ugly truth is that I’m simply never going to be.  I’m always going to have weekends where I spend the entire day getting my life back in order.  Sorry!!

large-plastic-storage-containersThat being said, I knew it needed to be done, and as much as I didn’t want to, I decided it was finally time.  I got out the plastic storage bins, the garbage bags, the label maker, and the Pandora.  I cranked up the jams, opened the windows for some fresh air (this was like spring cleaning in January) and went to town.

It was a lot of work.  A. Lot. Of. Work.  Why do I keep some of the stuff I keep?  Receipts from 2 years ago??  Wind up toys from college Happy Meals?  Clothes from high school???  Man, I may have some problems.  But I spent a good part of my Saturday trying to fix that.  Things were sorted, put away, trashed, donated, and generally organized.  If I couldn’t find a reason to keep it, or a place for it to live, it went.  If I hadn’t worn the outfit in over a year, it was gone.  And if I knew I’d never pick it up again, it was out the door.

The results??  3 trash bags in the dumpster, my entire back seat of my car full of Goodwill donations, and a closet I can actually see again!  Hey, how bout that, I do have storage space in my bedroom!!  I guess that’s what happens when you clean out the outfits you wore for college homecoming all those years ago.

I know it won’t last.  I’ll find more stuff to bring home with me, and lose other things I already have, and in a few weeks I’ll have to do this all over again.  But for not, my house is rocking!!  It was so organized I threw a party at my place this past weekend, that’s how confident I was in my organizational prowess.  Bring it!!!

So I’m back, and I’m rocking my.alphabet.year again.  Next weekend will be a new adventure, and we’ll get going again as if we didn’t miss a beat. 🙂  I know life gets in the way sometime, but that’s not something I want to happen again.

For now, it’s back to working out and the Penguins game.  Question for all of you out there, is pita and hummus considered a “well-balanced dinner”??  Because that was my dinner tonight.  And it was delish.  I’m not sure it’s a super nutritious meal, though.  Hmmmm…maybe I’ll go eat a mango.

Until next weekend, have a fabulous week!!!!

E

Oh My God I’m Back Again!!

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(you can’t read my blog and not love 90s boy bands…you just can’t…)

 

OH MY GOSH IT’S BEEN SO LONG!!!!!!!!!!!  I cannot believe it’s been so long since I have updated.  I’m so sorry, fans and friends.  It’s been a crazy few weeks!!  I have been running around working super crazy hours, driving 600 miles in 36 hours, and baking way more than one should ever bake in a condensed period of time.  Sleep has become a second priority, this blog third.

So what does that mean?  Where does it put us?  Well, for starters, I’ll use this weekend to catch you up on my last alphabet adventure (yes I did complete it, I just didn’t get to blog about it)  Then I will try to get my life in order so that you won’t have to wait two weeks to hear from me again.  I promise, I will try!!! 🙂

backstreetboysI hope you clicked PLAY on the youtube video above.   I don’t post these for my own kicks and giggles (yes I do) I post them so you can set the proper blog-reading ambiance.  You can’t read the blog without setting that first.  So…Nick, Howie, Brian, Keven, and A.J., sing us out boys.  (sidebar: I was definitely an Nsync fan back in the day…but this song was just so fitting, and Nsync doesn’t have one that compares.  Maybe on Friday night I’ll post that it’s Friday night and I ju-ju-ju-ju-just got paid!!!!!!!!)

See you this weekend, I promise!!!!

E