Five Things Friday: 12/14/18 Edition

Greetings, amigos! I’m officially on vacation for the rest of the year – huzzah! Lots of things have been happening, and some fun stuff is coming up, so let’s hop to it!

  1. Currently Reading: Still slogging slowly through The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I think I’m just past 100 pages now. It’s kind of a hard book for me to get into because it’s not my usual thing and I don’t really understand what’s happening. But I’m determined to try to finish it!
  2. Currently Eating: Allllll the leftovers. I have about six meals that I need to clean out of my fridge over the next day or so. We had our holiday party for my full-time job yesterday, so I didn’t get a chance to eat leftovers then; and then M took the day off and met me for lunch today (I was off too) and then I worked at bartending in the evening, so I didn’t get to eat leftovers then, either. There’s a significant backlog in my fridge, and while some of it can go with me on an upcoming trip (plane food!), some cannot. This is a really good problem to have. πŸ™‚
  3. Currently Watching: Still on Bob’s Burgers. I think I started season 5 earlier today. There’s something about that show that I just love.
  4. Currently Loving: The fact that I don’t have to work anymore for the rest of the year (at least, not at my full-time job). Suck it, work! (Kidding… sort of.)

    I’ve cleaned up my house and basement so much that I ended up donating close to 20 large bags of clothing/bedding/towels/shoes/small appliances/rugs/etc to Goodwill, threw out about 4 large bags, gave away several small appliances, and have sold a few things on eBay. For the eBay items, so far I’m up over $300 for sales on just two things – my old Wii and a VCR/DVD combo. I was perfectly content with giving both things away until a friend suggested I list them online. Glad I listened for once! I also found an iPhone 2G and a 5th generation iPod in my office, and apparently you can fetch some money for those guys. I have about 10 more things I’d like to list, but I’m going to be leaving on a trip soon so I should probably wait until I come back. Still, it feels great to get rid of so much stuff (and to give things away to people who can use the stuff – including winter coats, boots, accessories, and a heavy comforter), and my house looks kind of strange now with so much stuff missing. Strange, but really good.

    Also on the list of things I’m loving, the sweet little fuzzy brown girl in the picture above. One of my fellow firefighters adopted her a few weeks ago, and she brought her to the station last night. The pup’s name is Maya and she’s 13 weeks old. She’s just about the sweetest little thing ever. I gave up on trying to concentrate on our drill night activities and chased her around the bays until she got too tired… then she fell asleep in my arms. I’m not the one holding her in the picture, but picture the same thing, but with me underneath. πŸ˜‰ She was just too adorable. I want to steal her. I even showed her my car and told her she’s welcome to jump in and come with me anytime she wants. The other firefighter had better keep an eye on her. πŸ˜‰

  5. Currently Anticipating: VACATION!
    1. Tonight I worked, so that means tomorrow morning I need to go deposit my paycheck and tips – yay!
    2. Saturday during the day, I need to pack.
    3. I also need to find a pair of kid’s Steelers socks to take with me on vacation (they’re a gift).
    4. Last year at my part-time job’s holiday party, I won a night’s stay at the DoubleTree at the airport… I’ve already called ahead to cash that in for Saturday night. I plan on livin’ la vida loca in the hotel, keeping my car there for the duration of my trip, and taking the airport shuttle to the security line on Sunday morning. It’ll be nice not to have to speed to the airport in the morning!
    5. Sunday I’m flying out to San Diego (said in a Ron Burgundy voice). I’m staying with a volunteer friend who moved there from Pittsburgh to live with her daughter and grandkids. Both she and her daughter are amazing people and they insisted I stay with them… twist my arm! I’m getting my own car so I don’t have to bug them to take me places, and I plan on taking them to dinner and buying any groceries I use, and when I asked if there’s anything they want me to bring from Pittsburgh, the one ask was for Steelers socks for one of the grandkids’ Christmas presents. Hence my shopping goal for Saturday.
    6. I’ll be in San Diego Sunday through Sunday, arriving home basically on Christmas Eve (at, like, midnight).

Hope everyone has a great weekend and week, and let me know if you have any fun tips (food, drinks, activities, etc.) for San Diego! πŸ™‚

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Five Things Friday: 12/7/18 Edition


Happy Friday, everyone! I’ve had enough things going on this week to keep me grounded with regards to what day it is, so I managed to get this out on time – yay me! I’ve been off since Wednesday night, and I’m off through Tuesday this week, but I’m only working two more days this year. Two more days seems like it should be manageable. Should. πŸ˜‰

Here’s what’s been going on since earlier this week:

  1. Currently Reading: I think I’m now through chapter 4 of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but that’s it. It’s slow going over here, but at least there’s been a little progress. I expect I’ll be reading this for the rest of December and well into January, at least.
  2. Currently Eating: I broke away from Honey Nut Cheerios the past few days and I’m now on a Cinnamon Toast Crunch kick. Sure, they’re great with milk, but they’re also amazing dry, as a piece-by-piece dessert. I’ve also been drinking a lot of decaf tea lately, and very little coffee (caffeinated or otherwise). My friend R makes tea for me every time I’m over, and for some reason, the decaf tea at her place tastes better than the same tea at my place. So now I’m trying to figure out what she does that’s different, because I really like the tea she makes me. Maybe it’s just the fact that someone else made it? Who knows.
  3. Currently Watching: I’ve been on a Bob’s Burgers binge this week. I only saw the first two seasons when it was on Netflix, so now I’m almost done with the third season thanks to Hulu. I’m enjoying it, since I don’t really need to think about it much and it’s funny. Plus, short episodes. That’s basically my kryptonite – short episodes, humorous, and doesn’t require brainpower.
  4. Currently Loving: I’ve been going through this phase over the past month or two of giving things away. I’ve given some things away to friends (espresso machine, bread maker, etc.), and I’ve donated some things (blenders, kitchen scales, clothing, shoes). Today I went down to the basement and cleaned out 4 huge bags worth of clothes and shoes from my stash and donated them. We’re talking Columbia jackets, scarves, mittens, chunky sweaters, boots, and more. They’re all things that I haven’t worn in at least a year or two, and that could do a lot of other people a lot of good. Better to let them be useful than sit in my basement longer, right? The basement clean-out session lasted only about a half hour, so I’m curious to see what happens if I devote some real time to it. I also have some large area rugs to donate, some furniture-type things (end tables, lamps, etc.), and I’m sure there are more clothes and shoes that can go. I’d also like to get rid of some bed linens and towels that I don’t use anymore, since they’re all just taking up space.

    Speaking of things taking up space, I listed my Nintendo Wii on eBay and got rid of it pretty quickly. I sold the Wii, the Wii Fit and balance board, some games, and a dance pad for Dance Dance Revolution 2. I was planning to just give it all away, but a friend recommended I put it on eBay. I ended up making over $100 on something I was just going to throw out, once the shipping was accounted for. I’m sure I could’ve gotten more, but I just wanted it all gone.

  5. Currently Anticipating: More time off from work!
    1. Tonight M and I attended a happy hour event for his sister. His parents and son were there, so we got to hang out with them for a while.
    2. Tomorrow morning and early afternoon I plan on revisiting the basement to see what else I can get rid of.
    3. Tomorrow night I bartend!
    4. Sunday night I’m possibly hanging out with M, but not sure yet.
    5. Monday I’m off work and hanging with a friend.
    6. Monday night I have to attend an electricity training class for the fire department.
    7. Tuesday I’m off work!
    8. Tuesday night is tentatively free.
    9. Wednesday I work, but then it’s M’s birthday so we’ll be hanging out in the evening.
    10. Thursday is my last work day for the year.
    11. Thursday night is my work’s holiday party.
    12. Friday I’m off from my full-time job, but I bartend that evening.

Hope everyone has a great weekend and week!

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Five Things From Last Week: 12/4/18 Edition

So hey. I’m really terrible at this blogging thing lately. There’s just too much other stuff happening, and by the time I remember that it’s Friday, it’s already Sunday, and then the week just goes on from there. So, you know, sorry.

I have a feeling that the rest of December might continue this trend – with having so many days off (only 3 more working days in the year for me!), I tend to lose track of my days very easily. In previous years, I had work to do at the volunteer office, so I could keep a semi-normal semblance of time in my head. This year, though, that’s not an option, so my days just kind of float by in a haze. Merp.

I’ll make an effort to be more reliable. In the meantime, here’s what’s happening!

  1. Currently Reading: Last night I borrowed The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy from a friend. It’s a fairly enormous book, but she said that’s because it’s multiple books in one. I’ve only read the foreword so far, so I think it might be a long while before I’m finished with it. But yay, I have a book again!
  2. Currently Eating: A lot of Honey Nut Cheerios and almond coconut milk. I’m having a bit of an issue, and it’s one of the few things I’ve been able to eat and keep down for the past week (another reason why I didn’t post on Friday). I’m mostly just happy that I was able to find something that works for me; I’ll worry about Cheerios burnout another day. There was a point over the weekend where I thought I might have to go to the hospital, so I’m happy things seem to be on an upswing.

    Also, not relevant to eating, but M brought me flowers while I was out of it, which was super-nice. πŸ™‚

  3. Currently Watching: Last week I took advantage of Hulu’s Black Friday sale and snagged a membership for 99 cents a month for a year. I’ve been watching The Handmaid’s Tale, Rick and Morty, and I was able to catch up on Archer. I’m also working on watching all of the Bob’s Burgers that I never saw on Netflix before. So yeah, I’m basically watching a lot of adult cartoons and a little bit of culture. Meh.
  4. Currently Loving: A few neat things happened this past week. On Thursday, my work sponsored an evening at a rock climbing gym, Ascent. I’d previously spent a fair amount of time at The Climbing Wall in Point Breeze, but I’d been meaning to try out Ascent. It was… much more difficult than I’d expected. Like, all of us who were there for work were dumbfounded, including people who are regular climbers. We all sucked. It was fun, and I’m so happy work paid for us to go, but I feel like I need to go back to The Climbing Wall and practice so that I can go on the baby runs at Ascent. We also got to try out their auto-belay system, so that was neat – I’d only previously done belaying with people. It was a fun time!

    Friday I was off of work and didn’t do anything fun except go to the dentist (which patently does not qualify as “fun”).

    Saturday M and I attended a party at a friend’s house, so he got to meet more of my people.

    Sunday I helped put the star atop our fire siren at the station, and I was gifted with my own minitor… which went off at 5:29 this morning, very loudly.

    And then yesterday I got to hang out with a friend, destroyed a wooden pallet (see evidence above), found a couch I want to buy, and then dragged her to a first responder awareness class for processing clandestine meth labs. The class was actually really interesting, and (bonus) they fed us. Always a win!

  5. Currently Anticipating: A few good things are coming up.
    1. Tonight M and I are going out for sushi.
    2. Tomorrow evening I have a train-the-trainer class for the Medical Reserve Corps on administering Narcan. I’d planned on going to the office this week, at least for one day, but with the training I’ll need to work from home in order to get there in time. ::shrugs::
    3. Thursday I’m off from work – yay!
    4. Thursday evening we have our Fire Department monthly meeting instead of drill night.
    5. Friday I’m off from work – yay!
    6. Friday night M and I are going to a happy hour event his sister is hosting in Oakmont.
    7. Saturday night I go back to bartending!
    8. I don’t go back to work until Wednesday next week – yay!

Hope everyone has a great week ahead!

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Five Things [Saturday]: 11/24/18 Edition

Hi, friends!

Sorry about the delay – in this particular case, it was due to the holiday, studying for fire school, and being off from work… I wasn’t totally sure what day it was. But here we are and it’s nearly Sunday, so let’s get started!

  1. Currently Reading: Like last week, I didn’t read anything at all this week. I’ve been focusing so much on fire school and our final exam for mod 3 that I didn’t want to fill my brain with other words. Whoops.
  2. Currently Eating: Turkey for dayyyyyyys, and I love it. Thanksgiving was good – I got to hang out with the fam, M brought his son, and everyone behaved themselves. My parents made 2 turkeys since they like leftovers, they know I snatch them up any chance I get, and everyone else seems to take them over the holidays. So that meant I was able to take home a significant portion of turkey and gravy – yay! I also have mashed potatoes, stuffing, baked corn, applesauce, and cranberries. I contributed the homemade applesauce and cranberries, so I’m partial to them. I’m excited to continue eating leftovers for the next few days.
  3. Currently Watching: I started and finished The Kominsky Method on Netflix, and while I liked it (Michael Douglas, Alan Arkin, and many more are in it), it wasn’t exactly what I’d expected. For some reason, I expected it to be funnier. It was still interesting enough to hold my attention through most of it, and I was able to breeze through the season quickly.Tonight I started watching Great News, and I’m not far enough into it to give a fair opinion. For the most part, I like it… but it hasn’t hooked me yet.
  4. Currently Loving: Well, for starters, I graduated from mod 3 today and I am now officially an Exterior Firefighter! We started mod 1 with about 40 people, about 30 came back for mod 2, and we ended up with about 15 in mod 3. Of those 15 or so, one third failed our final, and probably another third has at least one makeup class outstanding and they’ll probably be made up next spring… so only about 5 of us got our certificates today. It’s secretly a small source of pride that of the five who received certificates today, two of us are girls (and there were only two girls total in mod 3). We are now done with fire school until at least March, when we’ll restart our early Saturday mornings with Haz Mat Operations and then our final mod for Interior Firefighting. Yay, us!

    I even got to go on a call this evening and I sort of got to do some things – I threw up a ladder and fetched tools. The call ended up being a blown motor in a furnace, so there was no actual fire, but it was nice to be useful.

    Outside of fire stuff, I love that I got a chance to hang with these two turkeys on Thursday:

    Taco, looking suspicious of the phone/camera as always…

    And Tank, AKA Little Brown Man, wondering how he can wiggle between my mom and me on the couch.

  5. Currently Anticipating: The vacation season is upon us, hurrah!
    1. Today I took and crushed my mod 3 final, then met M for a celebratory lunch on the way home.
    2. Tonight I responded to a fire department call and actually did some things.
    3. Sunday I have no real plans. I may meet my parents in Robinson, I may hang out with a friend, or I may do none of the above.
    4. Monday I’m off from work and I have plans to hang out with a friend at some point.
    5. Tuesday I have to work. 😦  But I’ll probably hang out with M in the evening. πŸ™‚
    6. Wednesday and Thursday I also have to work. 😦
    7. Thursday night is drill night with the fire department.
    8. And then I’m off again on Friday!

Hope everyone had a safe holiday, and that you’re enjoying the weekend!

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Five Things [Sunday]: 11/18/18 Edition

Good evening, friends!


Like many folks around western PA, I had to deal with a weather-related power outage last week. Once the power came back on, however, my internet did not. I spoke with Comcast and apparently something happened with my modem, and since they scheduled an appointment for Saturday morning without my knowledge (and I clearly wasn’t home because of school), I now have to wait until Tuesday afternoon to get my internet back. So I’m currently blogging via my work phone’s hotspot, and that’s how I’ll be working tomorrow and Tuesday morning, as well. Hotspot internet, while excellent in a pinch, does not make blogging easy… so I was going to wait until next week to blog, but I need a distraction from fire school studying, so here we go!

  1. Currently Reading: I haven’t read anything at all this week – I didn’t even get a chance to try. To be fair, my library book was returned online earlier in the week, but I just got around to checking it out again yesterday. That said, I don’t think I’ll be doing much reading over the coming week, considering my fire final for mod 3 is this coming Saturday and we have a holiday to consider. Meh.Β 
  2. Currently Eating: I’ve successfully turned M into a Caliente fan, which is good considering I love that place. Last week, we tried the Grandma’s Honey pizza and it was amaaaazing. Tonight, we went a little crazy and tried their Pickle Pizza.Β  It was surprisingly really good – we both admitted after the fact that we were both a little scared to try it. It was pretty great, though, and I’m excited to have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.Β 
  3. Currently Watching: I started watching The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix, and I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I love it. I used to love watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch back in the day, and I think Kiernan Shipka is pretty incredible, so add to that the fact that the episodes are fairly fluffy, and you can see why I like it. (Plus, as though I needed another reason to be into it, Bronson Pinchot has a role – Balki friggin Bartokomous!) I’m probably over halfway through it, and I already wish it wouldn’t end.
  4. Currently Loving: Let’s see… we’ve done a LOT of things in fire school the past two weekends. We thought we were doing forcible entry last week, but it got moved to yesterday’s class. Instead, we worked on hoses + ladders (together) – dragging hoses up three flights of ladders, dragging charged (filled with water) hoselines up ladders, etc.Β  – and conscious / unconscious victim rescue. For the conscious victim rescue, we each took a turn as a “victim” on the third floor and as a rescuer. The rescuer had to talk down a “freaked out” victim on the ladder, keeping the victim steady while they flailed and tried to throw the rescuer off the ladder. For the unconscious victim rescue, we had to grab 150-lb dummies out of the second floor, secure the victim, and then carefully transport the victim to the ground while maintaining contact with the ladder and being aware in case the victim “woke up.” I was (surprisingly) kind of awesome at the victim rescue stuff – it was one of my favorite things we’ve done so far. I didn’t even have trouble carrying the dummy down the ladder (though I was a little sore the next day). Yesterday in class, we finally worked on forcible entry – we broke into inward-swinging doors, outward-swinging doors, broke through drywall, and we each brought padlocks we could break. Breaking the padlocks was awesome… and I almost got a chance to practice it in real-life on a call tonight (but it wasn’t a life or death situation, so we just called someone for keys). We are basically done with our mod 3 classes – next week we have a half day, and it won’t even take that long. We have a review, our exam, and then we wait for our results. When I told my chief tonight that we’re all done except for the exam, he told me I can do everything now except don an SCBA mask and go inside a burning structure. So yay, I get to do things now!!
  5. Currently Anticipating: A very short work week! Here’s what’s going on this week:Β 
    1. Yesterday was fire school, as we just discussed.
    2. Today I went on a random de-cluttering spree in my home office. Or rather, I started to go on the spree, and then M picked me up to go get pickle pizza, then I went on a fire call, and now the place looks even worse than usual. Meh.Β 
    3. Tomorrow I’m working and hanging out with a friend.
    4. Tuesday evening I think I’m hanging out with M.Β 
    5. Wednesday I’m OFF WORK!! And I have no plans! So many opportunities! But I’ll probably just sleep in and lounge in pjs all day…
    6. Thursday is Thanksgiving, AKA one of my favorite holidays because of all the ridiculous food! I’ll be heading home in the morning, but M will be coming to eat with my family (his family does turkey day about 3 hours away) and he’s bringing his son. M has met my parents and grandmas, but not the larger group of family… and no one other than me has met his son yet. I’m kind of excited for it. πŸ™‚Β 
    7. And then Friday is Black Friday… which really doesn’t mean much to me, other than I’m off work. Unless my mom wants to go shopping somewhere, I’ll probably try to avoid malls.

That’s it for me, have a great week, everyone, and happy [early] Thanksgiving!

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Five Things Friday: 11/9/18 Edition

Hi, friends, happy Friday! And happy long weekend to some of you!

This week has been a doozy. Work things exploded. Personal life things exploded. I’m still not totally sure where either of those things stands, which is very confusing.

(No worries – the work explosion is a big deal, but the issue itself isn’t something that’s my fault and I’ve been told by everyone involved that I’m doing a great job of handling the issue… but it’s incredibly stressful nonetheless. So no cause for concern regarding my employment status. πŸ˜‰ )

Regardless, some good things happened this week. Let’s get to the recap, shall we?

  1. Currently Reading: Given all the “explosions” this week, I haven’t had a chance to read much. I was able to read a little of Sky Key, but only about 10% more. Oof.
  2. Currently Eating: Last week I was on apple overload; this week it’s hoagie overload. I forgot to mention it last week, but my Monday evening this past week was spent with my fire department crew constructing hoagies for our annual hoagie sale. That meant that Monday night I had part of a hoagie for dinner, Tuesday I had part of one for lunch, and then yesterday we had DiBella’s at work. That means that I have another hoagie for lunch at fire school tomorrow, plus one for Sunday and another for Monday’s lunch. Plus, as though I didn’t have enough hoagies, we had a semi-impromptu party last night at the fire dept after a cancelled fire call and then drill. We made more hoagies (for ourselves) and hanged out together to watch the Steelers game. I love hoagies, but I think next week at this time I might be sick of them!
  3. Currently Watching: I finally finished season 5 of Bojack Horseman, and I’m already looking forward to season 6.

    In the meantime, I got started on the final season of House of Cards. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet – I used to love Claire Underwood and how smart and cunning she is, but something feels “off” this season (other than the obvious lack of Kevin Spacey).

    And in movie news, M and I went to see Bohemian Rhapsody on Tuesday and we both absolutely LOVED it. I’ve been a huge Queen fan since I bought the Wayne’s World soundtrack cassette tape way back in fifth grade, and I’ve enjoyed Rami Malek since watchingΒ Mr. Robot. I cried a little towards the end of the movie (good tears), and we were both just stunned by how the movie made us feel. Every single person in the theater stayed until the end of the credits, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before – not even for Marvel movies. I’m still just absolutely in awe of how well the actors portrayed the band – Rami Malek was nearly indistinguishable from Freddy Mercury, both in appearance and voice. And the other bandmates… wow. If you look at pictures of the actual band and the actors’ portrayals, they did an amazing job with casting. If you haven’t gone to see the movie, I highly recommend it – I think I might actually go see it a second time in the theater, if I can find an evening to go.

  4. Currently Loving: It felt so, so, soooo good to go back to bartending on Saturday. There were things I didn’t miss, but it still felt really good to go back. I missed some of my coworkers, I missed the work itself and how it takes my mind off of everything else, and I definitely missed the tips. I’m already looking forward to the end of November, when I get to start back. There’s the chance I might pick up a few Sunday shifts between now and then, but even if I don’t, I’ll be excited towards the end of the month.

    I also loved having one weekend off from fire school. Sleeping in was g-l-o-r-i-o-u-s, and I’m excited to go back tomorrow morning. I’m not so excited to wake up early again, but I think we’re working on forcible entry, so I’ll get to jack some things up. Who doesn’t like destroying things?!

    Also with fire stuff, we had an interesting drill night last night. Instead of messing around with hoses, ladders, gear, etc., we packed up our trucks and met up with the other emergency management teams in the eastern area to discuss planning for our roles and salvage in the event of a terrorist attack in one of our local religious centers. We had police, fire, EMS, and religious leaders in the meeting, and we got to tour a potential target so we can plan for our entry and plans of attack in the event of an incident. It was really interesting – this was the type of thing I’d hoped and expected I’d be doing at this stage; I just never thought it would be with the fire department. It was nice to be included and to practice thinking like a firefighter instead of a volunteer aid organization (which, okay, I guess we still are considered a volunteer aid organization, but if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know what I mean).

  5. Currently Anticipating: There are some fun things coming up!
    1. Tonight I’m going rock climbing with M and his son at an indoor joint; then we’re going for dinner.
    2. Tomorrow I set out for fire school while it’s still dark, and I get back home after it’s dark again. The next few Saturdays might be rough, but I’ll be done (temporarily, for a few months) towards the end of the month!
    3. Sunday I have the opportunity to bartend, but I’m not officially scheduled. I’m not sure if I want to do it or not. If not, free day! If so, money! It’s a win-win!
    4. Monday I have off from work due to Veteran’s Day. Yay!
    5. Monday afternoon/evening, I have plans with a friend.
    6. Tuesday I have a follow-up appointment with the oral surgeon to check on my extraction… that wouldn’t be something to look forward to normally, but it means I won’t be working for most of the afternoon.
    7. Tuesday or Wednesday night, I’m sure M and I will be hanging out.
    8. Thursday is potentially drill night – I’ve learned that the third Thursday of the month is the Board Meeting, and we’re supposed to have drill afterwards… but lately we haven’t done anything for drill after the meeting is over, so I’m not sure what the plan is.
    9. And then it’s Friday again!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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