Morning, Made Better

Being at work at 8, after not getting to sleep until after 4, is ROUGH. Especially after the night we had last night. But when the chefs set aside some bacon for you and sneak it to you in a napkin, the rough morning is made a little nicer. 🙂

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Rainy Day Homework

Rainy Day Homework

When I woke up this morning, it was raining and dreary out and I just was completely unmotivated to move beyond my bed. I had two volunteer events I was supposed to attend, but I just couldn’t do it today – not with an entire weekend full of work ahead of me. So I emailed that I wasn’t coming to one, and removed myself from the list for the other. I felt a little bad about it, but honestly, I have about 6 hours to myself this weekend (I was on-call last night and a good part of this morning), so I feel like I deserve a little downtime.

So I grabbed some of the magazines that have been piling up, and I started making my way through them in bed. I got through about 4 of them before I had to start getting ready for work – not bad progress, but I want to be rid of them all by the end of this coming week. Maybe it’ll rain tomorrow evening as well, so I’ll have more time to get through them.

Wish me luck at work today and tomorrow – it promises to be a crazy time.

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Five Things Friday: 04/28/17 Edition

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Nevermind the questionable photo quality, but how ridiculously cute is this picture?? My two little buddies were TIRED one night, and they both conked out on my mom & dad’s bed. Tank even has his feet up against Taco’s belly, and Taco’s so whooped that he doesn’t even care. I don’t know what they got into the day this was taken, but it must have sapped all their energy! Essentially, they look like how I’ve felt every day for the past couple weeks, only they’re much cuter. 🙂

  1. Currently Reading: I finally finished Laura Lamont’s Life In Pictures! Geesh, it took me long enough! I started on a new book, but then I got the notice that it’s due back to the library tomorrow, so it’s not really worth getting into at this point.

    I think my next step is to take a small break from books and try to get through some magazines – I have magazines from January that I still haven’t read, so I’m pretty far behind. I’d like to get through all of them within the next week, so that’s what I’m going to focus on.

  2. Currently Eating: On Sunday night, since I didn’t have any cake (not even a cupcake!) for my birthday, I made myself this one. I’d made it before and it was fantastic, so I knew what to expect – plus, it’s stupid-easy. I dished a little bit of it into a bowl while it was still hot and topped it with whipped cream and sat down to enjoy it. After I finished it, I felt kind of sick. Not pukey sick, but just… off. I figured I’d eaten too much of it, maybe, so I just went to bed. The next day and every subsequent day, I took smaller and smaller portions. Each time, I felt sick afterwards. Last night I was down to just about 2 tablespoon’s worth, and I still felt gross afterwards. It tastes absolutely delicious, so it’s hard to stop myself, but I’m not digging this thing where cake makes me feel ill. Is this just me getting older, or is this the lack of grains over the last six months or so playing tricks on my stomach? To be fair, I’ve eaten like crap for birthday week, but it’s specifically the cake that makes me feel sick. So weird. Still not gonna stop me from eating it, because it’s crazy-good.
  3. Currently Watching: I finished season 2 of Better Call Saul, and then Netflix recommended that I check out 13 Reasons Why. It seemed like exactly the type of thing I’d enjoy, so I gave it a shot. The first episode, I felt meh about. The second was better. By the third, I was hooked. I finished the entire season already, and I loved it. Sure, it’s a little juvenile at times (it is about high school kids, after all, and I believe that’s the target audience), but it was good. I understand why it’s receiving a lot of criticism, especially the last two or three episodes. Honestly, the last episode made me both squirm and cry, so I can understand why parents would be anxious about letting their kids watch it. But really, it was well-done and the actress who plays Hannah Baker did a great job of getting the viewers to really feel the hopelessness and numbness. I’ve read they’re in talks for a season 2, and I hope they do it – there are some unanswered questions at the end.
  4. Currently Loving: I’ve taken a little unofficial break from some of my administrative volunteer duties this week, mostly because someone else was on vacation so I wasn’t being pulled into anything. That all ends on Monday, when we have a two-hour-long meeting scheduled together. I’m very conflicted about how I feel about that, but I did appreciate having a little bit of a break this week, and actually, it allowed me more time to take some training courses and to get on the schedule a little more. I almost feel like a normal person this week. Except not really.

    I’m loving the fact that I was looking at my vacation time for work, and out of 30 days I have available to me this year, I’ve only taken 1. I have another scheduled for mid-May, for our training institute thing, but other than that, I have a lot of time at my disposal. They changed our policy this year so that if you don’t use it, you lose it, so I legitimately need to take almost six full weeks of vacation before the end of the year. What a nice problem to have. 🙂 On the downside, I have no idea when I can feasibly schedule it, or where I’d like to go. I know myself pretty well, and I can guarantee that if I take days off and don’t have a plan in place, I’ll just spend the days working at the volunteer office… and that’s the opposite of what I need.

    I had some free time yesterday morning, so I took a deep-dive look at my budget spreadsheet, and I’ve discovered that I can officially quit bartending whenever I want, and I’d still have enough money to save a decent amount every month (thanks to no longer having a mortgage to pay). Things are constantly on an upswing-downswing pendulum there, so it’s a relief to know my world won’t end if I decide to just give it up someday.

  5. Currently Anticipating: Anticipating is a strong word, because it implies that I’m looking forward to stuff, but I don’t have too much to look forward to this week. Here’s what’s on the docket:
    • Volunteer event on Saturday morning.
    • Another volunteer event (different organization) on Saturday morning. (I’m double-booked, because I’m brilliant at scheduling.)
    • Work on Saturday afternoon/evening/night (a huge event, so there are three bartenders).
    • Work stupid-early on Sunday morning/afternoon (an event that I made a grand total of $21 at last year, so yeah, I’m really excited to leave work late the night before and go in early on Sunday morning for this one). (Sarcasm much?)
    • A two-hour-long meeting with the volunteer manager on Monday (I’m either more nervous than I should be, or not nervous enough).
    • Our Team Leader meeting on Thursday (which I’m legitimately excited for).
    • Our volunteer supervisor’s last day on Friday (sad).

 

That’s about all for this week. Hope your weekend involves 100% less work than mine. 😉

 

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Bad Medicine

Bad Medicine

By early afternoon today, I was beat. Lunch didn’t fill me up as much as I’d expected, one of the meetings I was dreading was canceled (which was good), and I got a really bad headache at around 2 and the only aspirin I had available was Tylenol PM (which, why I have that at work, I have no idea). Then I left work and took the bus home, but I’d walked straight to the bus from home today (didn’t drive down the hill), so I had to walk up the enormous hill in the rain to get home. And when I finally reached the top of the hill and felt like I was going to die because I scaled it fairly quickly and it’s a monster, the rain miraculously stopped. When I got home, I wasn’t sure if I was wet from rain or from sweat, because again, I felt like I was dying. Needless to say, it wasn’t the most fun afternoon ever.

But I’d made plans to go out to Mad Mex with my friend Tony this evening, and I hate canceling on people, so I changed my clothes and drove to Monroeville. I arrived while happy hour was still going on, so I ordered us large orange pineapple margaritas and waited for him to arrive. Meanwhile, I had two margaritas in front of me, so I looked like quite the alcoholic. Luckily, the table was ready fairly quickly, and then Tony arrived not long after, so I didn’t look like a person with a problem for too long.

Despite the crappy afternoon, the huge headache, and not really wanting to do anything after the hill almost killed me, I ended up having a good time (as always). I’m glad I went, and I’m glad we got to hang out. And by the end of the night, the hill and the afternoon were [mostly] forgotten and the headache had subsided quite a bit. That’s the magic of margaritas, I presume.

So note to self: the next time you have a crappy afternoon and you have an enormous headache, go grab a margarita to feel better. 🙂

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Have Fun Storming The Castle

Have Fun Storming The Castle

Tonight was our volunteer recognition dinner, and it was held in a country club that looked a bit like a castle. Actually, it reminded me a lot of the country club I used to work in, so there was a weird sense of déjà vu going on.

I wasn’t positive I wanted to go tonight, just because things have been sort of uneasy lately (can’t really go into that), and also because it took me about an hour to get there. In fact, I tried to give my spot away to a friend who hadn’t RSVP’d, but she refused to take it. In a sense, I’m glad I went because two volunteers called me while I was getting ready, asking when I was planning to arrive – it seemed like a foregone conclusion that I would go, I guess. I ended up having a decent time, and I got to sit with a friend and two people I hadn’t met before. I tried to recruit them onto our team, even though that means poaching one of them from a team in another county. The employees in that county didn’t appreciate that, but I assume they know I was kidding. (Or was I??)   😉

The food was really good – we had filet mignon, cod, chicken piccata, asparagus, and some really delicious salads. I’m kind of hard to impress when it comes to banquet food since I usually eat it at least once a week when I bartend, but I was legitimately impressed – when the salads are as tasty to me as a dessert, that’s a good sign.

Speaking of dessert, we had a table full of them. I was weighing my options and conferring with another volunteer when I turned and found our CEO waiting to say hello to me – out of the thousands of volunteers that are under her care within the region, she remembered my name and she was even confident about it (she didn’t ask, “Lindsay, right?” It was “Lindsay! So nice to see you!”), which was a little unnerving (and nice). Granted, there’s a reason behind that (several reasons, actually), but still, it was nice (and a little terrifying).

After dessert, we were set free, so I mingled with some friends new and old. Three more volunteers asked me to apply for a job that I have no plans to apply for. Two employees brought it up to me as well, but still not the one person who could potentially make it happen. One volunteer, who started working with us a mere two weeks ago, told me that he can tell that I’m the type of person who will never willingly say no to the organization, and I do too many things for them, and that it’ll end up killing me. He wasn’t saying all that in a mean way; just in a matter-of-fact way, which was (again) unnerving because he’s only known me for two weeks. What kind of impression am I giving these people?!

Despite a couple uncomfortable conversations, which are quickly becoming a way of life for me, I had a pretty good time and I appreciated the invitation. I am a little concerned about all the attention people are paying to this job opening – I swear, if it were a popularity contest, this would be the only time in my life I’d be a sure thing. I’m also second-guessing how I interact with new volunteers, because although the new guy wasn’t scared off by me “do[ing] everything” (his words), I don’t want to give the impression to new volunteers that this stuff will take over their lives – I understand I’m kind of an anomaly, but they don’t know that just yet. And it freaks me out just a teensy bit that I’m in a position that I need to pay attention to that type of thing.

I did have one humbling moment, though, and it’s still making me giggle. Right before I left, I was speaking with one of the staff supervisors from another county and our government liaison person, and our mental health lead came to join the conversation. I was mid-sentence when she joined, and as soon as I stopped talking she said, “Excuse me, who are you?” I said my name and continued the conversation. She stopped me again and said, “Wait, who are you?” At which point the staff supervisor said, “This is Lindsay. She’s the DAT Lead for Allegheny County.” And with that, the mental health lead got a weird look on her face and mumbled, “Never heard of her,” and turned and walked away. Funny enough, I attended a class she taught at our training institute last May, so I know exactly who she is. This might sound really conceited, but this was the first time since probably March of last year that I’ve met someone within this organization who has zero idea who I am. My reputation seems to precede me, for better or for worse (my hunch is that it’s for the better, most of the time), so for someone to have never heard of me and to also just not care to get to know me in the slightest, it was kind of refreshing. Humbling, for sure, but refreshing. I find it a little funny, to be honest – I’m laughing about it as I type.

So if nothing else, I had a nice dinner, got to meet some new people, spoke with people I haven’t seen in a couple months, sucked up a little bit (unintentionally), enjoyed some flattery, and also got a little humbled. It was a whirlwind night, that’s for sure.

In the end, I did indeed have fun storming the castle.

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Molto Benny

Molto Benny

I used to think I could compete reasonably well in a competitive eating contest, but then I went to Benny Fierro’s for my birthday and now I’m not so sure. If you’ve never been there or never heard of the place, Benny Fierro’s serves enormous NY-style pizza and they’re the home of “the Virginia slice.” I’d never heard of such a thing before, but judging by the size of the slices, pizzas are bigger in Virginia.

I’d been forewarned about the size of the pizza from the other bartender at work, as he recently went there with some friends for his birthday. I knew both the slices and full pizza were large, but I still felt like I could handle it.

I was so wrong.

I went with my mom and dad on Sunday, and we ordered a whole pizza – go big or go home! The slices that we saw other diners with were too big to fit on one plate – they required a minimum of two. We opted for pepperoni on ours, and sat down to wait. After about 15 minutes or so, the pizza arrived and it was so big that the pan spilled out over the sides of the table. I was in heaven. Sure, the pizza looked big, but it still didn’t look unreasonable to me. Aren’t people supposed to get smarter with age? I’m not.

We each grabbed a slice and went to town. I kid you not, it took me a good 15 minutes or so to finish eating one slice, and I could barely do it. My mom couldn’t finish her slice, and my dad – a pretty big dude – could only manage one slice and about a third of another. We were all impressed, though – with a pizza that size, we kind of expected the appeal was in the novelty of it; all style, no substance. But in reality, it was actually really good pizza! They aren’t skimping on quality in favor of quantity; Benny’s has it all.

Part of the reason I wanted to go to Benny’s was so that I could be sure to have leftovers, and I wasn’t disappointed. My mom and dad took two slices home and I took 2-2/3 slices home (I snagged the 2/3 of a slice my dad couldn’t finish). They gave us pizza boxes that would fit a large pizza at a normal pizza joint, and we could only fit two slices in them – that’s how big the slices are.

So now I’m working through my leftovers and I don’t think it’s ever taken me so long to eat my way through 2-2/3 slices of pizza before. I had it for lunch yesterday, and dinner tonight. I still have a full slice left, but there’s no other container I can package it in (too big!), so the large pizza box is hanging out in my fridge until I can eat the last slice.

It’s not often a pizza can impress me with its size and also its flavor, so hats off to you, Benny Fierro’s. Your pizza is molto bene (and molto Benny)!

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