Five Things Friday: 8/17/18 Edition

I don’t know how it’s happened, but we’re somehow over halfway through August… which means we’re almost through with summer. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Considering how I’ve dealt with life over the past six months or so, I’m not sure how I’ll handle it when it starts to get dark earlier and colder. The outlook is not great.


  1. Currently Reading: I didn’t really get a chance to read too much of Dead Men Talking this week. Between reading assignments in the enormous fire school book and the “extracurricular” activities I’ve done this week since it was, umm, not a great week, I just haven’t been in the right frame of mind to read about serial killers. That’s probably a good thing in this instance.
  2. Currently Eating: I took myself out to the Greek Food Festival near my house tonight. It’s become sort of a tradition for me; I seem to go at least one evening every year. It was pouring down rain tonight, so I got my dolmas and chicken gyro to go and ate them at home. Noms.
  3. Currently Watching: I’m still making my way through Orange is the New Black. It’s gotten better after the first episode of this season. There’s no telling when I’ll be done with it, though. I seem to be rather distracted these days.
  4. Currently Loving: The Farm Show was a good time last weekend. My mom and I are just enamored by the goats, and the baby goats in particular. The ones shown above were especially fun – they were doing parkour off of their cage and food bowls. ๐Ÿ™‚

    It was also great to see the pupperonis last weekend. I hate leaving them, though.

    M is still in Missouri for the Army, but every day I get text messages with pictures of bridges (that’s his new assignment – building bridges). Only a little more than a week until he comes back!

  5. Currently Anticipating: Meh. It’s been a rough week and next week doesn’t appear to be all that awesome, either. On the plus side, I’ve been killing it at work, so at least something is going right in life.
    1. Tonight I went to the Greek Food Festival and I’m going to be spending the rest of my evening reading about Fire Scene Lighting and Forcible Entry.
    2. Tomorrow starts week 2 of fire school at the Academy. 8am comes way too soon!
    3. Saturday night is up in the air. (Serious question: What do people do on Saturday nights if they don’t work??)ย ย 
    4. Sunday is up in the air. A friend suggested kayaking if the weather holds up.
    5. No more sand volleyball on Mondays. Our season is officially over, and we don’t start on our indoor team until September… so now I need to find something to occupy my time on Monday nights again. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    6. Tuesday evening I have an Epidemiological Investigations class to attend with the Medical Reserve Corps. (So, I guess that’s a thing I do now, too…)
    7. Wednesday evening is free.
    8. Thursday evening I need to find my local municipal building to pay my school taxes early (yay for early payment discounts!), and then I have drill night.
    9. And then it’ll be Friday again and I’ll be wondering where my week went. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a great week, friends!

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Five Things Friday: 8/10/18 Edition

Hi friends, happy Friday.

I kind of had a really great work week (!!), but my personal life took a nosedive yesterday and I still haven’t recovered. It’s crazy (and maybe that’s the point) how I can feel relatively fine and all it takes is one voicemail from someone I haven’t heard from since January to make life spin out of control again. Ugh, I hate this all so much.

But anyway, let’s try to find the good things. Without further ado…

  1. Currently Reading: I finished Anne of Green Gables and although I was very “meh” about it while reading it, I was sad that the book ended. I know there are more books in the series, but I’m not sure I’ll read them. Something about the book calmed me down a little – I guess because it’s set in a simpler time than the 2000s.

    A couple nights ago, I started on a new book, Dead Men Talking: The World’s Worst Killers in Their Own Words. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. On the one hand, serial killers fascinate me and I enjoy any chance to hear/read their perspectives (looooved Mindhunter). On the other hand, I expected this to be a more… I don’t know, scientific… book and it almost reads like fiction and includes some snark from the author. In my mind, I don’t equate snark with science and truth. I’m not too far into it – maybe 20% – so hopefully the snark quiets down as the book goes on. Regardless, I’m enjoying the subject matter.

  2. Currently Eating: I’m on a weird Cocoa Pebbles kick, which is so not healthy. My fridge is housing an assortment of random leftovers and none of it seems to go together – Italian, BBQ, Chinese… it’s a mess. The funny thing is, none of it sounds good. This is my equivalent of a closet full of clothes and I don’t want to wear any of them – I have a fridge full of delicious leftovers and they all sound gross to me right now. Such a weirdo.
  3. Currently Watching: I finished the latest season of Madam Secretary and moved on to the latest season of Orange is the New Black. In the past, I’ve loved this series, but I’m having a hard time getting into this season. Maybe I just have some sort of general restlessness going on – no food sounds good, no Netflix sounds good… I’m a mess. I’m only about 3 episodes in, so hopefully I’ll snap out of this funk soon so I can enjoy the rest of the season.
  4. Currently Loving: I finally – after a month of waiting – got my fire boots. I went up a half-size when I ordered them, and I’m glad I did – the larger size lets me get in and out of them easier in a hurry. I tested them out at drill last night and I love them. They also included inserts to make the fit a bit more snug; I might test those out in the near future.

    While at drill last night, we practiced plugging up sprinkler systems. I was kind of proud of myself – the guys went first and none of them could get the sprinklers plugged up entirely. Then I tried it and BAM, I stopped the leak entirely, stunning the more senior dudes who couldn’t get it to work. The rest of the night, one of them trailed me asking, “No really, how did you do that?” It was great.

    Also at drill, since we were playing with sprinkler systems, I got soaking wet. I literally spent an hour getting “rained” on in my full gear, just staring at the water pouring off me thinking, “This is fine.” BUT, I learned that the turn out gear we wear is very nearly waterproof (though, it’s not sweatproof – just put it on and stand in place and sweat pours down your back), and my new boots are fantastic. I kind of sort of wish I could wear my fire boots to work when it rains. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Currently Anticipating: Meh. There are some good things coming up that I hope will bust me out of this funk a little.
    1. Tonight I’m heading home to my parents’ house so I can see the pups for a little while, and then we’re heading to my favorite annual tradition – the Farm Show. There are going to be goats, pigs, cows, and ku klux lambs galore! I won’t be able to stay long, though, because…
    2. Fire school starts tomorrow morning! I have to be in North Park at 8am with all of my gear and seemingly a million other things. I’m not nervous about the content of tomorrow’s session – from what I’ve heard, it’s a lot of safety talk and climbing in and out of our gear repeatedly – but I am nervous about making it to North Park on time. I can’t even regularly show up to work before 9am, much less eat breakfast and drive nearly an hour to get to fire school before 8. I’m hoping that adrenaline and excitement will help me get moving in the morning.
    3. Saturday night is my first legit Saturday off from bartending, and initially I was nervous about what I’d do to fill my time (especially given the internal turmoil I’m experiencing this week). However, a friend’s husband has an extra ticket to Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Benedum (since my friend is deployed to Cali for wildfires), and I offered to take the ticket and go with him. So after fire school, I’ll be rushing home to get a shower and eat, and then I’ll be going to see a show. Thank goodness for friends and their husbands, for finding things to keep my mind occupied. โค
    4. Sunday I have nothing planned. Kayaking didn’t work out last weekend… maybe this weekend? Or maybe just recovering from fire school / reading more of that giant fire book I’m supposed to be making my way through?
    5. Monday evening we have sand volleyball playoffs. We actually managed to WIN all three of our games last week, and we were even short-handed. That meant that those of us who did show up were running around like nutcases and exhausted by the end, but we pulled it off. We don’t have super high hopes for playoffs, though, since we really kind of sucked the rest of the season.
    6. Tuesday I have nothing planned after work.
    7. Wednesday I have nothing planned after work.
    8. Thursday is drill night with the fire department.
    9. And then Friday comes along again.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Five Things Friday: 8/3/18 Edition

Hi, friends.

While I was in DC last week, I stopped by a place that seems to be one of my DC go-tos – A Baked Joint. While I was there, I got a few pieces of focaccia to take home, and I enjoyed them throughout the week. Now they’re gone, and I’m left wanting more focaccia. So if you have a good (easy) focaccia recipe, please let me know. I’ve found a few on the internet and I might try one, but I secretly want some bread to just appear in my house with zero effort on my part.

Quick, someone come up with self-driving bread!

  1. Currently Reading: I was fairly occupied most nights this week, so I didn’t get a chance to do much reading. I’m still working on Anne of Green Gables, and I’m still neutral about it. Hopefully I’ll finish it this coming week.
  2. Currently Eating: Not focaccia, clearly.

    On Wednesday, I went with a friend to Caliente in Bloomfield for pepperoni rolls and a drink. Wednesday is half-price sticks and rolls night, which meant we got a few different things to share. While we’d planned on grabbing a drink, when we got there we were informed that Southern Tier bottles were $3 (another Wednesday special), and the first one was free. I actually had to ask the server to repeat herself because I thought I’d heard wrong… but nope, free. So we ate a bunch of sticks and rolls and had some free beer and even walked away with free pint glasses. I’m not sure if there was a promotion going on or what, but we were happy campers. Even happier when our bill came to less than $12 and we had two to-go boxes filled with leftovers. The point of this story? Go to Caliente on Wednesdays. Or any night, really (I love that place for some reason), but specifically on Wednesdays.

  3. Currently Watching: I finally finished Luke Cage season 2 and moved on to the latest season of Madam Secretary. I figured it was good timing to watch it since I just got back from DC. I’ve said this before and I’m not afraid to say it again – I have a bit of a girl-crush on Tรฉa Leoni and I kind of desperately want to be Elizabeth McCord.
  4. Currently Loving: I kind-of-sort-of put in my two week’s notice at the bar I work at last weekend, but with the caveat that I’m available Sundays, some Friday evenings, and December through January. So I kind of quit, but not really. I really hope they continue to schedule me once in a while; just not on Saturdays since I’ll be in Fire School. I already dread not having that extra money.

    While I was working last weekend, I got a bit of a surprise when one of the wedding guests mentioned that she’s read my blog. We were pretty slammed all night and we could barely catch our breath, so I was totally caught off-guard by the discussion. So, hello to Becca! ๐Ÿ™‚

    In non-work news, yesterday I went out and bought myself the childhood I never had. I never had a Nintendo system as a kid; my neighbors did and I played theirs a few times, but I never had my own. Somehow I came across these classic NES systems that came out a little while ago (pictured above), and I discovered that they’re only $60, they come pre-loaded with 30 games, and they’re readily available at GameStop. So I bought one yesterday and I’ve been angrily throwing my controller ever since. It’s kind of hilarious how terrible I am at Super Mario Bros – I guess that’s because I never had it as a kid, though. Each time I play, it’s kind of a nice little life lesson that nothing really matters and if everything goes to crap, you can just start over.

  5. Currently Anticipating: There’s not much going on this week, but there are a few things.
    1. Tonight I’m meeting up with some friends for pizza and then we’re going to see our friend who was formerly in the hospital but who has now moved into a nursing home. Considering she was once given 24 hours to live, her progress is astounding. โค
    2. Tomorrow I will be working my last Saturday wedding for a few months!
    3. Sunday is nothing. I kind of want to go kayaking, but who knows if the weather will hold up. M left this morning for a few more weeks of Army training, so my usual Sunday evening shenanigans are on hold.
    4. Monday is sand volleyball in the evening.
    5. Tuesday and Wednesday are nothing.
    6. Thursday is fire department drill night.
    7. Next Friday is… (wait for it!)… FARM SHOW night!


Have a great weekend and week, everyone!

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Five Things Friday/Saturday: 7/28/18 Edition

Hi friends!

Sorry for the delay in this week’s Five Things Friday post; it’s been a whirlwind week and I got home late last night. I got to see some really amazing things this week, and I learned a ton; I was even able to go to a place that most people doesn’t know exist (and that isn’t on maps or publicized, and that I can’t talk about). It was probably the most interesting week of 2018, and I’m more than a little sad it’s over.

So without further ado, Five Things Friday… on Saturday!

  1. Currently Reading: I gave up on trying to read You Are a Bad*** because I hated it so so much. Instead, I grabbed Anne of Green Gables from the library since I’d never read it before. I’m about halfway through it, and though I don’t love it so far, I do like it a heck of a lot more than YAaB. I don’t regret the decision to bail onย YAaBย – life is too short to force yourself to read things that make you angry.
  2. Currently Eating: I spent my week trying to find cheap(ish) eats in DC, and I think I did okay! Tuesday I stopped at Wegmans for lunch on the way to DC because Wegmans is amazing. Tuesday night I stopped at a local chain called Nando’s Peri-Peri and shoveled some Peruvian chicken into my mouth between visits to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Pentagon. Wednesday I grabbed an egg white omelet to-go at Prรชt ร  Manger before boarding the bus to the FBI Training facility at Quantico, then we had lunch in the Quantico cafeteria and a group dinner at Clyde’s when we got back to the city. Thursday I grabbed an egg white sandwich at Starbucks on my way to FBI Headquarters, lunch was at the cafeteria in HQ, followed by an FBI 110th anniversary celebration and a tour of the U.S. Capitol and the Library of Congress, and dinner was at a pretty good fast-casual place called Cava – it was like a Mediterranean Chipotle for pitas/salads/rice bowls… I wish we’d get one in Pgh. Friday began with another egg white sandwich eaten on the metro (shh, don’t tell! I was told as I was eating that food/drink is prohibited on the metro – whoops) as we headed to the secret destination I can’t write about. That was our last stop as a group, so I grabbed lunch at a place called China Boy in Chinatown and then stopped at Blaze pizza in Monroeville just as they were closing so that I could grab dinner on the way home.

    So yeah, it’s been a whirlwind week of eating out, but it could have been a lot worse (and a lot more expensive).

  3. Currently Watching: I didn’t watch any Netflix while I was gone, so I’m still working on Luke Cage season 2. I’m on the last episode, though, so I imagine I’ll be finishing that up tonight when I get back home from work.
  4. Currently Loving: Ahh, it seems like a long time since I had a lot of things to say in this area… or at least things to say that aren’t mushy.

    I’m very thankful to have had the opportunity to attend this FBI Citizens Academy trip. I learned so much and got to see and experience so many cool things; it was by far the highlight of my year so far. Some things we were able to do on the trip:

    1. Visit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
    2. Saw the “Spite House” and toured Old Town.
    3. Saw George Washington’s church and checked out gravestones so old all the writing has worn off – I believe we were told that none of the stones are younger than 1808 or so.
    4. Visited the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial and got to hear first-hand accounts of the day from one of the FBI staff from Minneapolis who was in DC and in labor that day.
    5. Got a tour of the FBI Training Facility at Quantico, including a tour of Hogan’s Alley and the Firearms Training Unit, and lectures from several subject matter experts.
    6. Unofficially (on my own) visited the White House and the Red Cross and made my feelings about both places known. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    7. Got a tour of FBI Headquarters, got to meet the Director (Christopher Wray), toured the FBI Experience and saw how tiny and nearly imperceptible hidden cameras can be, saw evidence from the Unabomber, Patty Hearst, Watergate, John Dillinger, the BTK killer, civil rights crises, September 11 2001 (see above), and the Boston Marathon bombing (the boat, complete with bullet holes, is housed there).
    8. Attended the FBI’s 110th anniversary celebration with speeches by Judge William Webster, FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich, and FBI Director Christopher Wray. No joke, while I was at the ceremony surrounded by FBI agents, I was the victim of a cyber crime and had to bring it to someone’s attention. It was kind of hilarious how ironic the timing was. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    9. Toured the U.S. Capitol building and the Library of Congress.
    10. Toured a super-secret location that I can’t talk about, and saw a bunch of evidence from 9/11 (including pillars from the north tower at the point of impact), the Underwear bomber (the actual underwear worn), and Osama bin Laden (his diary/personal notes and notes for his speeches).

      Needless to say, it was an absolutely incredible trip, I saw a lot of things, and I came home completely exhausted (but it was so worth it).

  5. Currently Anticipating: Oof. Next week is going to be a snooze-fest (with one or two exceptions) compared to this past week!
    1. Today I need to unload all of the seltzer water from Wegmans and Costco out of my car (#addict), and then I’ll be bartending a wedding.

      There’s a minor possibility this might be my last wedding – I need to put in my 2 week’s notice today in order to start Fire School on 8/11. I’m hoping they’ll let me stay on for random things and for when I have a break in December and January, but you never know how these things will go. I’m scheduled for next week, and the other two bartenders are off, so I’m expecting to work next Saturday, but historically when you give notice there, you’re done that night. We’ll see!

    2. Sunday I have no plans, other than hopefully recuperating from the DC trip.
    3. Monday I have to go back to work… boo.
    4. Monday night I have a sand volleyball game.
    5. Tuesday night I’m hanging with M.
    6. Wednesday night is free so far.
    7. Thursday night is fire department drill night.
    8. And then we’re back to Friday!

Hope y’all have as great a week as I had last week! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Minor Delay

Five Things Friday will be posted on Saturday this week – I just drove back from a kind of ridiculous trip to DC and I’m kind of exhausted.

Hasta maรฑana, friends! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Five Things Friday: 7/20/18 Edition

Heyyyy there. Happy Friday.

I had drill night with the fire department last night, and I was gifted a decal for my car. It was presented to me as such: “Put it on the rear window on the driver’s side, so that if you get pulled over, the cop will see it and go easy on you.” Ahem… knock on wood.

Drill night itself was good, but tiring. We had two teenagers from another department training with us last night, and we were learning different techniques for hose work. The two kids didn’t seem totally into the “work” part of drill night, and they barely gripped the hose while it was fully charged (meaning, high water pressure). That meant that we’d start off fine, but then the two of them would gradually stop trying to hold the hose up, so I was stuck with it. My biceps are a-hurtin’. It’s cool, though – I need to build up my guns and my stamina. By the time I left, I was pretty much completely drenched, and I played the “Sweat or Wet?” game when I got home as I peeled off my clothes. I still have no idea if I was wet from water or sweat. Guess it doesn’t matter at this point. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  1. Currently Reading: I finished A Tree Grows in Brooklyn over the weekend, and I was sad to be done with it – I loved it. A lot.

    I didn’t even have a chance to think about a new book before the library released one of my Hold items to my account – You Are a Bad***, by Jen Sincero. I really expected I’d enjoy this book, but I’ll be honest – I kind of hate it. I’m about 35% through it and I dread reading it every day. A really large part of me wants to give up, but another part of me hates to not finish a book. But for real, there’s something about this book that I can’t stand and I don’t know what it is. Meh.

  2. Currently Eating: I’m trying to get the majority of my food choices back on track, so I spent some time at Costco and Aldi today buying healthier snacks, like cherries and roasted chickpeas. At one point today, I was really hungry and considered opening a single-serving bag of salt & vinegar chips… but I realized I wasn’t hungry for them and instead ate a peach. Considering the emotional / physical / nutritional disaster I’ve been for the past few months, that little victory is progress.
  3. Currently Watching: I started on season 2 of Luke Cage this week. I’m really glad I watched The Defenders before I watched this new season of LC, because there are so many references to it and I would’ve been frustrated otherwise. Like, every episode I would’ve been wondering, “Who are these Danny and Colleen people they keep referring to?” So that was a smart decision on my part. Yay, me.
  4. Currently Loving: I’m starting to get myself back on track, fitness-wise, which coincides with trying to eat better. I’ve been sticking to a regular cardio schedule, and this week has already been easier than last. I’m taking this month or so (or less – eek!) before fire school to try to get back into some semblance of shape. I understand that my classes will be the most effective at preparing me to become a firefighter, but it can’t hurt to not be so out-of-shape.

    Oddly enough, a few things have helped me get back on the fitness wagon. The biggest thing (pun not intended, but relevant) is a new sports bra. I’ve had the same three sports bras for years (like, 8 years!) and I love them to pieces because they do such a fantastic job. That’s because they were fairly expensive – I’m not one of those people who’s generally okay with paying $60 for something no one sees, but in this case, they were worth it. However, I’ve been looking for a replacement brand for years since the brand I’ve been wearing is hard to find, but I’ve struck out repeatedly. Until the other night, when I was in Target and I found one of the maximum support ones. I didn’t have high expectations, but hot dang, I think I’ve found a winner. The girls stay in place, and replacements are easily accessible. Plus, I bought a second one this evening and it was discounted to $6.98 for some reason. Win, win, win. It’s amazing how motivating a new sports bra can be.

    Another motivational tool is a relatively cheap pair of wireless earbuds I got on sale for Amazon Prime Day. Like with the sports bra, I had low expectations – wireless earbuds seem to constantly slip out of my ears. But I took them for a spin tonight and I’m super-impressed. They stayed in place without requiring adjustments, and the volume / sound was great. Yay!

    So yeah, a few small purchases were all I needed to jump back on the wagon. Hooray.

    I’d hoped that the increased activity / regular schedule / healthier eating would make me feel better or more “normal,” but I’m not so sure it has. Last week, I was cautiously optimistic that I was getting back to a normal mood. This week, though. Man. This week was difficult. I think it’s because it was the third week of the month, which is when I traditionally had a lot of volunteer meetings back in the day. I can sense this week coming and it instantly makes me unreasonably sad and irritable and I can’t figure out why until I look at a calendar. So I’ve been a mess this week. But at least I’m forcing myself to go for a walk before I let myself fall apart every day – that’s my bargain with myself. If I walk for at least 45 minutes and still want to scream / cry / do “bad” things, then okay, at least I tried to take the healthy approach. Merp.

  5. Currently Anticipating: Meh. I’m really not entirely sure what’s going on next week. Things are currently up in the air.
    1. Saturday I’m bartending a wedding.
    2. Sunday I’m probably hanging out with M, assuming he’s back from Army training. I would like to go shoot some things; it’s been too long.
    3. Monday I’m working from home and then I have sand volleyball.
    4. Tuesday through Friday, I’m tentatively scheduled to be in DC. I’m supposed to be going with the FBI to Quantico and FBI Headquarters, but I don’t recall ever getting a confirmation. The person I tried to confirm with was out of the office all week, returning this coming Monday. So I might be going to do awesome things, or maybe not. Best case scenario: I get to do really cool things. Other scenarios: I don’t get to do cool things and the hotel lets me cancel and I do a staycation, or I don’t get to do cool things and I can’t cancel the hotel so I just bum around DC. Either way, I won’t be working, which is fantastic. On the other hand, I will have to miss drill night with the fire department. You win some, you lose some.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

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