lookingforlissa

Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Posts Tagged ‘Me! Me me me!!!’

I’m more grateful than ever for the miracles of technology

Posted by Lissa on September 24, 2012

As I laboriously hoiked myself out of bed for my usual two a.m. bathroom run, I thanked the gods once again for Lasik.

Remember this post?

With BabyKitty’s impending birth, I’m more grateful than ever that I can SEE. I’m doing at least one, sometimes two, bathroom runs per night, and I know that will only increase. In about three weeks, those bathroom runs will morph into nursing sessions. It is a magical, wondrous, marvelous gift to NOT have to worry about finding my glasses and shoving them onto my face so as to avoid cats and other impedimenta underfoot.

And once again a huge thank-you goes out to my sweetie, who made it happen :)

P.S. Lasik is wonderful for many, many reasons, one of which is being a great case study for what happens with medical technology that isn’t covered by insurance. I could never have afforded Lasik when it first came out; only rich people could buy that luxury. Over time, enough of them bought it that, by the time I got lasered, it was better, faster, safer, and much, much cheaper than all the trust-fund babies got ten years before. Teh Market – It works!

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Did you know RSVP’s are out of style?

Posted by Lissa on August 6, 2012

It’s true.

My baby shower was a few weeks ago and I invited perhaps 20 people. With about a week and a half to go I had gotten “yes” RSVP’s from … Five people.

Two of whom were my mother and my mother-in-law.

I’m not going to lie – I was freaking out a little. I had visions of the six of us sitting around the kitchen table drinking coffee and just having a brunch group instead of a shower. And, yes, this event was haunting my thoughts.

I eventually asked my mother-in-law to track down responses the weekend before and we ended up with thirteen people, which was wonderful – enough people to make it a party, but not so many that we couldn’t all fit in the living room.

This came to mind again yesterday when friends of ours cancelled a dinner invitation. Now, they do have a reasonable excuse: this was their first weekend in town (I.e. we were bringing them dinner for when the movers left). We had texted with them around eleven am or noon and asked what kind of pizza we should bring (the answer was “pepperoni”). And then, around 3:15, Mike got the cancellation call.

Now, again, they have a very valid excuse – the movers ran late, the baby was cranky, etc. But more notice would have been nice.

And I got to wondering whether this is a generational thing.

You see, the prep that I had already made for our dinner visit – I baked pumpkin bread so they’d have breakfast foods, I baked vanilla cupcakes with key lime buttercream frosting for dessert, and I bought fruit salad to serve with the pizza – is perhaps a little more than people my age usually do for a dinner visit. I think it was the standard for dinner visits thirty years ago, but no longer. Maybe that’s one reason cancellations and lack of RSVP’s are more common.

What do you think?

P.S. Hey you kids, get off my lawn!!

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32 years ago today . . .

Posted by Lissa on June 12, 2012

… I took my sweet time meandering into this world. I seriously hope BabyKitty behaves in a more timely manner :) Also, last week this blog turned four. Yay us!!!

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The hostess with the mostest

Posted by Lissa on May 24, 2012

That’s what THEY said, anyway :)

The client event went very well, I think. We had the usual few hiccups – the presentation was 50 minutes, not 20, as the guy had claimed; we had a guest determined to be the smartest guy in the room and therefore ask difficult, technical questions; Geico got his knickers in a twist because he wasn’t invited to join everyone at the steakhouse until right before the presentation – but on the whole it went smoothly.

And everyone loved the food! I got asked for the taquito recipe by a handful of people (you can find it here, if you’re curious; I did NOT use canned chicken, because ew), the bruschetta got devoured, I heard people crunching away at the veggies, and all the cheddar, most of the brie and half of the pepperoni disappeared. (No, I didn’t eat any of the brie. I’m on a pregnancy diet.)

The dinner afterward also went well but it was looooooooooong. And I almost wanted to smack Big Boss, who 1) got to the restaurant before anyone else; 2) put down his stuff at the head of the long, skinny table seating 20; 3) did not reserve any other seats. So, we had him at one end, while Veep, the presenter and I were all the way at the other end since we’d been cleaning up, and a long run of clients/prospects in the middle with no Sunshine Financial representation. Not ideal.

(I asked him, exasperated, why he hadn’t saved us seats in the middle or scattered about. His frank answer? “Because I’m not that smart.” Oh.)

…. and he IS that smart, he’s just not an accomplished party host. Different skill set, I suppose.

Anyway, the clients loved the food and gave me huge props for arranging all of it, I didn’t have to deal with a catering firm who would feed eight people (that turned into twenty), it cost my company perhaps a third of what a catering bill would have run, and I got a delicious steak dinner at the company’s expense.

AND I didn’t die in the horrific, terrifying thunderstorm that made my ten PM commute home a nightmare, so there’s that!!

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Happy Easter!

Posted by Lissa on April 9, 2012

Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing Easter!

I’m not gonna lie – my Easter started off as a huge bummer. My mom and stepdad were flying down to spend Easter weekend with us; I had all the dishes planned and had done the shopping and was ready to sandblast – er, clean – the house and we were going to Epcot on Monday … and my mom came down with a killer flu. WAH! There was a fair amount of crying — well, no, I wasn’t CRYING, it’s just that my eyes kept leaking. Stupid eyes. Anyway, she’s feeling better, and, well, we had a much more RELAXING weekend than planned, so it’s okay.

We still had Mike’s parents and two of his uncles over for Easter dinner, and that was lovely. (Especially the uncle who was intently watching the Master’s and cheering like he was at a peewee football game. I.e., cheering like his shouts of encouragement and jeers of choking were actually going to affect the outcome. It was great.)

Of course, since we had two fewer people than expected, my spread went from “too much food” to “holy crap I can’t put out ALL the food I bought or they’ll have me committed to the mental ward.” So I skipped the caprese salad appetizer and stuck with potato chips, tortilla chips and fresh salsa, two kinds of chips and three kinds of cheese, and a platter of cut veggies with low-fat spinach dip. (Fat free sour cream, low-fat mayo, french onion soup mix and frozen chopped spinach, if you’re wondering.) For dinner we served up smoked pulled pork (yay for making Mike cook outside!), spaghetti with Italian sausages (the sauce starts with tomato puree and peeled tomatoes and cooked about six hours), salad, roasted cauliflower and Italian bread.

And dessert? Well, Mike and I made a quick strawberry-picking run yesterday (which was supposed to be a blueberry picking run only there weren’t any) and I used the recipe off the side of the puff pastry box:

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(That’s two strawberry napoleons with chocolate-dipped strawberries down the middle.)

We sent home a bunch of food with the folks so my fridge is now only overfull instead of gorged-to-bursting. (I need to eat a lot of fresh veggies this week.)

I hope you all also had a relaxing holiday filled with good food and family!

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The flash mob that wasn’t

Posted by Lissa on December 27, 2011

It was tons of fun but it was NOT a flash mob. There were people gathered in the middle, there was obvious musical equipment and there was a sign listing the different holiday events for the day. So it doesn’t count as a flash mob. Yours truly makes a brief appearance at 2:30 and again at 2:55 – and no, the rather screechy soprano you hear isn’t me. :)

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It’s surprisingly hard to sing in that large a space. Even in concert halls there are walls to bounce the sound back to you. This was like singing into a vacuum.

In other musical news, I went Christmas caroling at the Westminster Towers nursing home in Orlando the day before the flash mob (Friday the 16th). It was . . . interesting. I’ve been caroling at banks and neighborhood gatherings but only as part of a formal choir or chorale. This was a group of people who belonged to a number of different choirs – the Messiah choir, the Bach Festival Choir, or just the local church choir – and who had been caroling at this nursing home for about 11 years. They were also all older than me, ranging from about 40 to about 65. Perhaps because of that we started each song in a much lower key than scored. I don’t have perfect pitch but I do have pretty good pitch memory so that was a little screwy. Regardless, the residents loved us and we brought a little Christmas cheer to both the folks who lived there and the folks who took care of them.

And then to top off my musical weekend we went to the Candlelight ceremony in Epcot. The fun part is that as long as you’re not too loud you can sing along from the audience ;-)

I hope all of you had a lovely holiday!

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Happy birthblogiversary to me!!

Posted by Lissa on June 13, 2011

Yesterday I turned 31 and earlier this week my blog turned 3. Yay!!

Many thanks to Jay G, JD, Doubletrouble, Wai, Christina, Breda, Caleb, and Ambulance Driver, who were kind enough to leave birthday wishes on that Facebook account that I never use :)

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I lived!

Posted by Lissa on February 22, 2011

First, a big thank you to Amy, George, Christina LMT, Butch Cassidy, Terrence and To Old to Work — I really was a bit nervous for my first day, so your comments were really appreciated!!

I think I’ll do just fine at Florida Financial.  It’s a very different place from Ye Olde Financial Company, but different doesn’t mean worse; just not-familiar.  I suppose that any place would have been different, really, since Ye Olde Financial Company was the only place that I worked after college.  Kind of nice to think that the real company-references on my resume just doubled ;-)

I’m still working on classes at the community college — I had NO FREAKING IDEA THERE WERE SO MANY G**DAMNED BONES IN THE HUMAN BODY, LET ALONE THE MARKINGS — which means that my life is going to be pretty busy this year.  My current plan is to try to finish up all my prerequisites this year.  If all goes well, then I can decide at year-end whether A) I love Florida Financial and want to stay there for years, or B) it’s really time to go to nursing school.  If Option A ends up being where it’s at, then I imagine nursing school will be put off until we move again (we think that’s pretty likely in 5-7 years).  In the meantime, I’ve ordered a 16.5″ skeleton and a skull so I can put my fingers on things as I learn them.

And hey, it’s a headstart for Halloween decorations! Yay!!

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News!!!

Posted by Lissa on February 14, 2011

I’ve got news, everyone! Two pieces of happy news and one piece of sad news. Sad news first:

“SesaWHAT?”
So, remember the Workout Wednesday posts? Remember how I worked my way up to 5k and then to four miles and was really proud of myself? Well, shortly after that I started having trouble running … It just felt like my feet were whamming and I couldn’t find a quick light stride and it was all very discouraging. We figured it was probably a case of plantar fascitis and I took a few weeks off, then went back to short runs. WHAM WHAM WHAM, plus pain in the soles of my feet. Another few weeks off, plus new running shoes that help correct my tendency to pronate … WHAM WHAM WHAM, and now pain in BOTH feet, especially first thing in the morning. *crap* So I bit the bullet and went to a podiatrist.

Guess what? She first thought it was Turf Toe, but upon x-rays it turned out that both my feet have imbalances sesamoids. Those are, apparently, two little bones around the tendon and they’re supposed to be the same size. In both my feet one is significantly smaller than the other, which may be due to avascular necrosis. JOY!! Consequently I spent my Saturday afternoon getting my feet fed into an MRI machine.

By the way, my new goal in LIFE is to NEVER injure my head, neck, shoulders or torso in such a way that would get me fed in head-first. I would have been a gibbering wreck. Damn claustrophobia!!

Sigh. Onto Good News Item the First: I got a job! YAY HOORAY! I start next week for what I’m going to call Florida Financial. It’s a few towns down the road but my commute will still be shorter than it was into Boston. And I’m guaranteed a seat!! And I won’t have random strangers sweating onto me, yay!! :)

Finally, Good News Item the Second: I’m sitting on a boat waiting to take a quick trip to Mexico. Because life is good. :)

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!!

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Back to school for me!

Posted by Lissa on January 10, 2011

Good moring all!  Thanks for leaving me your input in the last poll — I really did have constipation of the brain.  So, um, my dear readers are the figurative equivalent of Ex-lax.

Crap.  You know what?  I’m not liking the direction this post has taken.  I’m starting over.

Good morrow, dear friends! Per your stated wishes in the last post, I shall at once describe the change in vocation that I hope to bring about.  Tally-ho!

***************************************

As y’all know, I went to Ye Olde Liberal Arts School.  It was a very nice school, with very lovely professors and very accomplished students.  I learned a lot about myself during those years, started to grow into my skin ( a process I continue to this day), and made some friendships that I do think will last me the rest of my life.

Aaaaaaand . . . that’s kind of all.  Sure, I graduated cum laude. Sure, YOLAS is considered an elite school.  But it’s not that well known outside of its regional area.

I graduated in 2002 and jobs were nonexistent.  After what I like to call my Lost Year, I started working for Ye Olde Financial Company in 2003. I stayed there until we left MA this October.  The company was a good place for me; I moved around some, got promoted some, and generally had a successful career.

I thought, when we moved down here, that it could not possibly be as hard to find employment down here as it was in 2002/2003, and I was right — I’ve got high hopes for a couple leads I’m following.  But the fact remains: It’s damn hard to quantify being a good worker in that industry.

Let’s compare my resume to Made Up Person, who was in my group back in Boston.  Now, the folks there hated MUP.  He didn’t do his work on time, wasn’t attentive to the bosses, was careless in his editing, and generally belligerent.  Every time he was assigned to a project, the other participating folks would groan internally and plan on doing more than their fair share of work — they knew they’d need to.

Me?  (Sorry, but I’m gonna toot my own horn here — bear with me for one paragraph.)  They loved working with me.  Higher-ups would request me specifically on projects, or approach me independently with small projects that I’d have to clear with my boss. I was always careful in my review, massively hard on myself when I made mistakes (I **HATE** making mistakes!!!!), and diligent to such small things as whether the higher-ups preferred their copies double-sided or single-sided, paper-clipped or stapled.

And yet on paper? His resume and mine will list roughly the same thing in that position.  The average recruiter will see no difference between his resume and mine.  This despite the fact that I was told explicitly (well, I would have been told, if I wasn’t making up the MUP character) that they cut MUP’s bonus to increase mine.

I’m so TIRED of this.  I’m so tired of looking for work with nebulous credentials.  And now tack on the fact that there’s a decent chance we’ll have to move again within the next seven years, so I’ll get to do it all over again.  Yay! . . . umm, not.

Soooooo . . . I’m going back to school!

Mind you, I never missed school.  Well, not school per-say.  I missed having tons of friends within walking distance, along with my two choirs, but that’s all.  I have enough younger siblings and friends to remember exactly how much I hated doing 20 page papers and cramming for tests and having the fear of unemployment hang over me.  I never wanted to go back.

But I’m hungry for an actual skill set.  I’m eager for a license or qualification that frees me from depending on the intuition of an HR person who will believe that I’m a good worker.  And I need something that will transfer easily if we end up moving.  Oh, and since I’m tired of being frightened of unemployment — a fear I’ve had my whole life, btw — I want a job in an industry that I know is growing.

Can anyone guess?  I bet people have guessed!

Yes, I’m going to nursing school!  Hooray!

Well, actually, I’m starting at a community college this week to get the prerequisites so I can apply to a university Advanced to BSN program.  I’ve got my BA, so it should take about two years total — one year to knock out the prereqs (who wants to butcher a pig?) and one year for the actual program.

I think I’m suited to being a nurse. Whether it’s caring for the camp kiddee who scraped his knee or holding back some girl’s hair in the graduation party bathroom, I somehow end up caretaking for the folks around me.  I’m fairly sure my stomach is strong enough — I don’t have a problem with blood and guts.  I volunteered at a hawk shelter for months and got to play with rats and dull scissors; that didn’t bother me.  (“Let’s see, 18 red-tailed hawks . . . each one requires one-third of a giant rat . . . wish they didn’t have rat shit all over the hindquarters . . . ”  **)  I don’t have a lot of trouble switching my biological clock — I could do the midnight-to-8-AM shift without difficulty. I know the job can get gross, and I know the job can get absolutely heartbreaking, and I think I’m prepared for that.

Of course, whether it’s nursing or parenting or whatever, everyone *thinks* they’re prepared, right?  Perhaps the first time I get puked on by a complete stranger I’ll hang up my Crocs.  ;-)

But I’m determined.  And, assuming that I get my license, I’m guaranteed a growing industry.  I mean, does anyone think that the medical profession is going to become less important?  And with ObamaCare rolling down the Pike and doctors quitting willy-nilly, does anyone think nurses are going to become less valuable?

So that’s my story, folks.  Wish me luck!

P.S. I know Christina‘s doing sort of the same thing.  Thanks, Christina, I’m braced for Microbiology!

 

**The rats didn’t bother me.  Nor did the chicks.  However, the osprey food? VILE.  It would take HOURS for me to stop smelling that nasty slimy fish on my fingers.  Even if I was imagining it.

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