Thursday, May 30, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - you got to grow, you got to learn by your mistakes, you got to die a little every day just to try to stay awake

1. The time from the weekend before Memorial Day through the second weekend of June is a nice warm cocoon where I spend more time at the shore than in Philly. Those periods of time are my halcyon days. I was ripped from it abruptly on Tuesday for a meeting that popped up and re-entry was not kind. My dogs were not pleased either but at least they were pleasantly exhausted from all the walking and being awake they do down there vs sleeping 16-18 hours a day like they do at home.

2. When I go back and forth between the shore and Philly quickly I have to take photos of what I leave in my drawers because I can't remember. More than once I've been sure I left clothes there and arrived to find nothing, leaving me wearing the same thing all weekend long. I mean, I sort of do that anyway, but it's a choice. 

3. I was super pumped to see this when I got off the train this morning. Art is coming to dank and drab Suburban Station!

4. When your coworker BFF sees you. Let one motherfucker be offended by this in this world, seriously.
5. I never have to serve, rarely have to show up even, but like clockwork I get the notice. I don't mind. We are responsible for doing these things. It just makes me laugh when I see “it’s your turn.” Mofos it is always my turn. 
6. "I'm full' is a good description of how I feel when things are super peopley. I don't go from having fun to being overwhelmed though, and I don't worry that anyone will be offended that I'm going to go be alone for a while. Fuck that noise, if you are offended by people doing what they need to do to take care of themselves, you have problems that have nothing to do with the person who has allegedly offended you. I know what I need and I make sure I get it because if I don't, no one else will. The last sentence is my approach to life. 
7. Do you finish a book at 11:38 pm and then pick up a fucking new one and start reading it even though you have to get up at 6:30 or am I the only moron who does that? Book 78 of the year was...
8. I've been doing my own pedicures - I know, who am I? - but had to get a quick one at lunch yesterday because I've been out of time. Essie Bachelorette Bash

9. Reminder:

10. Ecards: me, contacting the City of Philadelphia's Historic Events booking people this week after three weeks of no replies.

I’m off tomorrow. Have the best weekend!
What appears after the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts is a song lyric to whatever I'm listening to when I start to write the post. This week is Get it Right Next Time by Gerry Rafferty

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

May 2019 Recommendations

1. Birkenstock Gizeh EVA Sandals (affiliate link). Super comfortable. I can walk all day in these. I have a high arch and they provide good support. I have them in a few colors and I wear the hell out of them.
2. Tea Tree Oil foot soak (affiliate link). It is bare feet season, after all. This smells and feels good and my feet feel great after.

3. Magic erasers to clean your filthy oven glass. Just mine is filthy? I know I'm not alone here. This one comes via Lucy, Carol's best friend, and it works.

4. Seventh Generation Dish Liquid. I made this switch last year after spending a while thinking it could never be as good as the harsher stuff. That was incorrect. It's better. Smells good too, all scents. I am big on soap scents.

5. Plan for Plastic Free July. Choose to refuse all single use plastic in July, or pick just one thing now you want to focus on and prepare and plan to commit to participation. Last year I gave up single use coffee cups and haven't looked back. What unnecessarily wasteful habit can you kick to the curb?
6. Allow all the feelings. Thanks to Lori for sharing this one! The world is in a place where we see people are calling for sun to shine out of everyone's ass all the time. Positive vibes only! I call bullshit. We are human and we have all the feelings. If you push the negative ones down you'll give yourself a stroke. You're allowed sadness and grief and rage and fear and everything that is ugly and messy and human. The trick is to try not to live in those negative places and not to harm yourself or others in them. Accept that you have negative feelings, give yourself time to process, then move on. Pretending negative shit doesn't exist is not living in the real world.

What are you recommending this month?

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

TWTW - the one with the Memorial Day

Friday I worked from home because my oven was getting repaired after over 40 days of not working. Hallelujah and amen. I got to zero inbox in work and personal emails. 
At lunch I ran errands to a thrift store and an antique store, gassed up the car, and hit Target. After work I washed couches, packed for the weekend, bagged up clothes I'm donating, picked up around the house, made macaroni salad and chicken drumsticks for the weekend, and a few things for the week. MFD left for a retreat and I got in bed early but didn't go to sleep until after 12.

I was on my way to the shore by 6. Smooth ride until a block from my house when Gus shit in the car, four dogs tracked it all over, I nearly lost my fucking mind on a store owner talking to me about parking (on the street, mind, not in a lot) as my dogs were escaping the shit mobile and being a totally indecent human being. I can't go on I am getting pissed all over again. I cleaned that up, walked dogs in pairs, rode my bike to the library to take refuge there for a bit, then holed up in my apartment with a book for most of the day until Debbie arrived. 
We ate and ordered wine and had an impromptu concert on the porch courtesy of the guy across the street. MFD rolled in around 8. We walked Bruce & Bender far to an ice cream place that had to have over 100 people in line, turned around and went to the one a block from home. 
After coffee on the porch and dog walks, Debbie and I hit the beach and people watched. We did not discuss what people were wearing or how they looked in what they were wearing...we discussed serious sunscreen issues. Lots of weird burns. We have surmised people are applying spray sunscreen on the beach, not rubbing it in, and thinking it's getting everywhere but it's not and the sunburns are getting real weird. I finished a book and started another, we got snacks and refilled drinks in our own cups at The Farm Stand at 14th, and MFD finally joined us. At night we did creepy face masks and watched Wine Country. 
Monday Debbie left after porch coffee and MFD and I hit the beach. 
It was a spectacular day. I finished a book and read half of another. We didn't leave until almost 7. 
Our renters had gone by the time we got back. We jumped right in the car and took the dogs to Dog Beach. Bender did okay. Gus was chasing balls with other dogs like he's not nearly 14 years old. Mae found a group of women with a sweet blanket and umbrella setup and joined them. Bruce was dashing through the sand. It wore them right out. 
We meant to do things when we got back, but we put Billions on, I did this and wondered why I don't live here full time. We had a great weekend. 

Weekly food prep: breakfast is breakfast burritos I made Friday and froze. Snacks are power breakfast muffins and bell peppers. Lunch is PB&J and a banana. Dinners are probably grilled chicken and veggies. 

I'm working from the shore today because we're getting a toilet replaced and the exterminator is coming for the annual no ants treatment and MFD is heading home with the dogs. 

Let's make it a good one!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - they say these waters aren’t what they used to be

1. I started listening to my first audiobook last weekend and I hate it. It takes for freaking ever compared to my reading speed - edited to add the photo here says 1x but I did speed it up. I like the subject, I like Michelle Obama's voice, I think it's interesting, but I do not like the experience at all. I would rather read over anything, and that includes listening. Reading and listening are not the same to me. 
2. This is what I'm physically reading right now. 
3. I tried a new lunch place on Monday for a poke bowl...I thought I had a lunch meeting on Monday and I did not so surprise! Lunch out. The food was good and it is super cute in there - it's Ten Asian Food Hall on 17th & Chestnut.
4. I love surprise gifts. Thank you Kristen!!

5. We have spider mites in the flowers and veggies so we got live ladybugs to help with that problem. Nature, man. I also have some banana peppers sprouting!

6. Three soaps that came in my Target ReStock order this week. Doesn't the middle one look used? I’m not hoarding soap. Two are for the shore. I love Seventh Generation dish soap.

7. I’m not leaving for the shore tonight. I’m taking care of some shit at home and leaving at the crack of dawn Saturday morning. Debbie and MFD will be down Saturday too. I’m getting a toilet replaced and having the exterminator out for the annual spring treatment Tuesday so I’m working from there then. Memorial Day and the Fourth are not my favorite times down there. 

8. My allergies are absolutely insane this year. Yesterday I was pumped at the notification that reinforcement antihistamines had arrived. That’s where I am right now. 

9. Reminder: get what you want from this life.

10. Ecards. Except next week is a three day week for me since I'm off on Friday. Get your weekend reports in early, kids.

Happy happy birthday to my cousin Tracy today!

Have a fabulous weekend, all. 
I hope you take some time to reflect on the reason we have Monday off. 
See you Tuesday for TWTW or this weekend on my instagram and the shore instagram

What appears after the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts is a song lyric to whatever I'm listening to when I start to write the post. This week is Downeaster Alexa by Billy Joel

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Three Things: May 2019

Three things I lost my shit over this week
1. Abortion bans
2. People who came to a dead stop in the middle of walking to zone into their phones and got an earful from me*
3. The patriarchy*
*sort of standard from week to week

Three signs I'll never hang in my house
1. Live laugh love
2. Anything related to coffee or wine
3. Anything that says girl boss

Three things I neglected this week
1. Hydration
2. Food prep
3. Skincare

Three things I've tried recently
1. A new iced coffee method at home
2. Narutomaki
3. Listening to an audiobook (spoiler alert: I hate it. The listening, not the book)

Three house things I hate doing
1. Sorting and opening mail. I only do this once a week.
2. Taking the trash out
3. Putting laundry away

Three things I wear all the time
1. Cardigans
2. Old Navy pixie pants
3. eight year old yoga capris

Three things I never wear
1. Jeans. Jeggings yes, jeans no. I don't own any.
2. Heels. I don't own any.
3. Belts. I don't own any.

Three books on my kindle waiting to be read
1. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson - this has been sitting there since December 8, 2015
2. Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center (advanced copy from Netgalley)
3. Girls of Glass by Brianna Labuskes

Three things I have to do but don't feel like doing
1. Finding a new vet
2. Cleaning out my purse and work bag, both are a fucking disaster right now
3. Reorganizing the basement

Three things I'm looking forward to 
1. A few Fridays off
2. Girls weekend!
3. Having a working oven again

Now you.

Happy happy birthday to my sister-in-law Sarah today!

Monday, May 20, 2019

TWTW - the one before Memorial Day

Friday I had off, and a Friday off is a glorious thing. I was up reading Thursday night until 1 and up by 5:15 for a walk with the best friend dogs and a lovely sunrise. 

Even better than having off, my niece and nephew, Stephen and Aubrey, and Carol were down and my Dad was arriving midday. Aubrey made breakfast and we walked to the park. 

Then Aubrey and Lola and I rode bikes to the library while Stephen napped. Lunch was from Cinco de Mayo and we went to the beach after that. It was cold but then the sun came out and it felt glorious. We came back to find a hellish grill situation so Aubrey and Stephen made dinner inside then we jammed up to the boardwalk. The new Lola Jean ramp was open by that time, rides were gone on (first time for Baby Stephen!), the first Kohr Bros of the season was had, and the skies were grand on the way home. I went to bed after I believed my niece was making chalk. Lack of sleep is not good. 

I was up walking dogs at 5:45 and 6:45, then jolted to get dressed and had my coffee on the boards as we rode bikes down to Dockside Kitchen where Dad & Carol took us out to breakfast. They all stopped at the park but I went home to get the dogs out and do some reading. When they got back my dad assembled the power washer and him and my brother power washed the grill while the ladies brought some Philly to the shore for sidewalk sitting and eating and playing with Lola. 
We spent a few sunny hours on the beach before doing the boards again. Opa for dinner, rides, ice cream, and another nice night. I also scored a purple zip up OCNJ sweatshirt. They never have them in my favorite color. Stephen and Aubrey went home and I went down to read after hanging with Dad and Carol for a bit. MFD arrived with Gus and Mae after 11 and I was up finishing a book until after 1 and then woke up many times before finally getting up at 7:30. 

Dad and Carol stuck around to hang up some stuff for me and help me clean the house before taking off with a bunch of our trash chairs and recycles to put out at home. MFD got us bagels from Dead End Bakehouse. I finished up cleaning the upstairs, ran to get some stuff at the store, and he power washed for what felt like decades and was over six hours. Everything looks great out there but if I never hear that noise again it will be too soon. 

Packing up cars and moving shit and moving shit back and putting shit back together and walking dogs and being so tired I just sat with my teeth in my mouth until it was time to order pizza from Randazzo’s and watch Game of Thrones. I was physically tired to the point of not being able to do anything and just having to lay down. We each put in seven hours of work plus what Dad & Carol did. MFD is doing some more stuff this morning but we’re pretty ready for the season. 

Weekly food prep: breakfast is greek yogurt with granola - I still have some from last week at work and I only need it a few days this week. Lunch is PB&J after I finish the pork from this weekend. Snacks are strawberries and bell peppers. 

Up at 5:15 to make the trek home this morning.

Happy happy third birthday to Laura’s son MBD! 

Friday, May 17, 2019

Does My Tech Career Count?

Happy Friday friends! I'm off today and know you'll enjoy this piece from my friend of nearly 20 years, Shelby. Shelby Cohen is a former food critic for the Watertown Daily Times and the blogger behind Big Hungry Shelby, an Upstate New York food blog that promotes mom and pop restaurants and the shunning of Red Lobster. She has a degree in communication from Geneseo State University and has worked in public relations for the defense industry for 20 years.

For the majority of my 20 year career in public relations, I have worked in the defense industry. But I’m no STEM whiz. Ironically, I failed my math final exam in the tenth grade, necessitating summer school to maintain my honor roll standing and grade point average. In college, the panic attacks triggered by math class were so severe, I would have to leave the room. I wasn’t what anyone would call a good STEM student.

STEM – or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – is a buzzy educational term these days, particularly for girls. Because young women typically begin to fall behind in these subjects in middle school – opting for fields of study in the softer disciplines of English, history, art, or music – a huge effort has been mounted in the last decade to encourage their participation in them.

The fact is, tech companies can’t hire enough women engineers and computing professionals because just not enough women stick with these subjects in school. That, in turn, means these companies struggle to meet diversity numbers, and wage gaps and gender bias persist over time due to a lack of female candidates in the talent pool. The issue is more complex even than all that, of course: don’t get me started on what happens to women when they begin families, and how that effects c-suite diversity metrics down the stream.

When I was in school in the 90s, there were no STEM programs; no corporations investing in my public school to inspire my interest in math or science, and even if there had been, I suspect I still would have gravitated towards those softer disciplines. Words have always made sense to me – numbers, not quite so much. So while I thrived in AP English and was thrilled to discover there was a career in which I could use words to change other peoples’ minds and influence consumers, I drifted further and further from interest in those STEM subjects.

Yet, at just 23, I began working for the largest defense contractor in the nation. I was writing articles about planes with enormous gun barrels mounted on their noses and electronic warfare systems that gave American soldiers the ability to distinguish friends from foes on modern battlefields, and working with some of the most brilliant engineering minds on the planet. It was my job to understand what they did and turn the tech into digestible information for everyday folks. All these years later, and for another company, I work with reporters from outlets like Aviation Week to explain how advanced flight controls can ensure a pilot knows what commands his co-pilot is giving their aircraft and vice versa, and, yes, write and edit articles about how important STEM education is in our schools.

Most tech companies need people like me – non-technical professionals – to keep their doors open. We’re financial wizards, organizational nerds, human resources experts, and contracts nitpickers. In my company, they call what we do support functions, because the communications team, along with those other departments, enable the engineers to invent, develop, produce, and sell. But even though we’re not engineers, we’re completely steeped in the innovation taking place inside our walls. There are hundreds of people who work for my company who can’t figure out the tip at the end of a team dinner, but have high-paying jobs in one of the biggest high-tech organizations in the world.

You know Kristen Wiig’s character in The Martian, incredulous when her colleagues name a secret meeting after a scene in The Lord of the Rings? That kind of interaction is a regular occurrence for me. But despite the fact that I am not an engineer, I very much have a successful career in technology that has allowed me to meet presidential candidates, collaborate with Oscar-winning film directors, fly on helicopters, and travel the world.

My job requires me to understand our products enough to educate the masses about why they’re beneficial for our military. No, I don’t understand how the chip inside a single board computer is designed or built, but you better believe I have to know what it does once it’s orbiting earth in a satellite. This is not work the village idiot is qualified to accomplish. Still, by most peoples’ standards, I would not be considered a woman in technology. It’s time to change that perception, especially if we want to prepare our children for the workplace of the future.

Let’s open our apertures on what it means to work in the careers of tomorrow. Yes, we need more girls to follow STEM paths, if that’s where their talents lie. But let’s be careful not to deliver that message at the exclusion of the notion that literature, art, sociology, history, and music have value and a place in the job market.

That girl who always talks to her neighbor during the lesson could be Google’s vice president of human resources in 25 years, and that boy who flunks every bio lab experiment because giving his frog a funeral makes more sense to him than the scientific process may be the business development exec for whom Boeing will be searching in a decade or so. As a society, we tend to latch onto ideas like, “STEM = Good,” abandoning a wider view, such as that a student who excels in art could become the graphic designer who heads up the ad campaign that propels the next big social media giant into the hearts of consumers.

Of course educating our young people in these disciplines is important, but there always will be more than one path to success, and I worry than the predominance of STEM messaging makes kids who just aren’t meant for those subjects feel less than. It’s simply not true that science and math are the only keys to unlocking a career in tech.

I’m living proof: you can have a successful career in a thriving technology industry even if you failed your Math II final.


Shelby will check comments here and can also be reached via email

Happy weekend!

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