florida

The loser leaving work at 5pm

I normally start my work count down to 5pm roughly around noon.

I take my lunch  at 12:30pm so in my head, I am closer to that 5 o’clock in my head. Since I take an hour lunch, I get back by 1:30pm and, hey, that is just 3 hours and 30 minutes away from that wonderful 5 pm!!

Then I try to do some work, maybe be productive for about two more hours which gets me to 3:30 pm. Then the second count down to 5 o’clock starts. Any work that would require more than two hours gets pushed onto the next day. I probably get up and go to the bathroom and/or get some coffee. Then I do some more work, hoping for no last minute complications that would impede me from leaving at 5pm.

I don’t know how your workplace is, but where I work people are serious. 5pm means nothing to them. They don’t care if they don’t see their kids, spend more time with their spouses, no, work has to get done because there is not always another day.

So that means that I am usually the first one to get up at 5:00pm. I look around as business chatter continues as if in fact, it is not 5 o’clock in our very own office. I shut down my computer and I sneak out.

I sneak out like a plain traitor that has the audacity to leave work at 5pm! I try not to attract too much attention. I know most of these people will stay at least half hour/an hour late to finish up whatever they were doing. I feel like I am being watched, being judged- “Look at Leah leaving work exactly at 5pm! Who does she think she is?!” So I try to duck down in a way that will get me fastest to my car. I  feel their stares, they are piercing me with fierce judgement but I continue. As the proud leader of the 5pm rebellion, I see some other people follow behind me.

I get inside my car and drive away before my boss comes behind me, chasing me to finish something that can be done tomorrow- and once I am off the company parking lot, I feel like I am winning! I get to go home and see my family even if for the measly 2 hours. I may be a loser that doesn’t work hard and leaves at 5pm, but I am a winner in my family’s eyes!

How about you, readers? Do you also feel weird leaving work at 5pm on the dot or is your company more understanding when it comes to it? Do you feel the peer pressure as well? Leave comments below……and don’t forget to leave at 5pm, sharp!!

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What is Christmas with no snow?

As you may or may not know, I live in Florida. Right now, it is 79F outside, sunny and it does not feel like Christmas at all. My inflatable snowman in the front yard looks a little ridiculous surrounded by green palm trees. Same goes for the Santa and the reindeers display since if Santa ever landed by my house his landing would have been really rough, having no snow and all. Or maybe his team is used to a grassy terrain?

So it’s Christmas…. but with no snow it is missing that…. je ne sais quoi. I can’t enjoy a hot beverage by the fireplace since I am already in a tank top and shorts. It is too hot to have the fireplace going. My only snowflakes are the ones I hung up on my tree (DIY for the win, ya’ll!!).

I probably should have gone to a snowy place this year. But money is tight and I don’t like to spend money on what I cannot afford. I am sitting on my couch, reminiscing my days in Europe. Honestly, I am re-reading parts of my book because the way I described Jenna’s snowy days in France are legitimately what takes me back to the days of snowy bliss.

So what is Christmas with no snow? Well, it is weird. It feels like something is missing. You may say Christmas is about Christ. Spending time with your family. For some it is about presents. And it is all that. But there is something even better about going to church on Christmas, marching through the snow, hiding your cold hands tucked deeply into your heavy jacket, breathing heavily into the wool scarf, and snowflakes falling on your head.

***Merry Christmas everyone!!***

Area dog more than happy to be a couch potato

“Would you look at her,” said Tanya with a hint of despise. She was referring to her dog Stella who was stretched out across the couch in the living room. “I think when she dies we will bury the couch with her.”

Tanya and I nonchalantly took a seat next to Stella. “Is it really that bad if a dog enjoys being on the couch?” I asked Tanya. “You love the couch as much as the next person.” “I do,” she responded and took a bite of the grilled cheese sandwich she made inspired by the one seen on America’s Test Kitchen. “But this dog, she almost abuses the couch. I’ve never seen anyone so happy just spreading across the thing in multiple ways. She lays on her back, her belly, her side- you name it.”

I looked at Stella. Her eyes gave away content and a sense of bliss. Soft cushions were supporting her big head as her butt was slowly sinking into the couch. This dog was happy, so happy to be a couch potato.

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Guy at Sweet Tomatoes Doesn’t Eat All He Can Eat

West Palm Beach, FL- Employees of Sweet Tomatoes, “a buffet chain serving health-conscious American eats with from-scratch soups, salads, pastas & more,” are used to customers who walk out with their pants undone, moaning of how much food they had. It is a common sight at the “all you can eat” restaurant- but last Thursday, a normal guy walked in and had no problems walking out.

“I noticed his suspicious behavior by the salad bar already,” an employee at Sweet Tomatoes told us. “He didn’t pile on as much salad, croutons, beans etc. as he could but actually put a normal amount of food on the plate. Then, he continued his way to the soup&pasta area and took a bowl of soup, a baked potato with only a little bit of sour creme and that was it. I was shocked,” said the aforementioned employee. “He didn’t even get desert! The guy took an orange to go and he walked out like nothing happened.”

All the employees that day were utterly shocked and stayed in shock for the rest of the day. “We don’t see it happen a lot, you know. It seemed surreal.”

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I’m a murderer. Vicious, vicious plant murderer.

I dread this time of year. Dread it. Anyone who has any vacation days left is hopping off on a flight to Dominican resort or is boarding the party cruise-line…. and who do they ask to “keep an eye on” their plants? ME!

I hate watering plants for people. Give me a hamster to feed, a cat to cuddle with or a dog to take out. But plants? I forget about plants. I don’t know how much water they need. I don’t know their types. I don’t know their survival requirements. I know nothing! By having to (not) water them, you turn me into a murderer. A terminator! A liquidator! Pure and simple, a killer.

My sister is the one that dumps them on me. I reluctantly agree, of course. I can take care of her daughters when they are at my place, how could I not take care of plants then? Maybe I will do better this time!

At first, the plants seem fine. I try talking to them. Sing to them. I try to make them happy. I diligently read the list on how much water they need and how often they should be watered. Next few days, I forget they are there. Because they are so quiet, I don’t notice their presence. I watch TV, I write my blogs, I go to work without a single thought regarding the plants.

Then I come home one day, and I suddenly notice almost like a trail of shedding leaves. Then, as I glance to see if there are any survivals left, only few, sad, wilting leaves are staring at me. “You did this to us!” they scream. Then I notice spots and brown patches on stems. “Please forgive me!” I cry. I give them so much water their little pot is overflowing. I don’t know what to do. I add more fertilizer. I put them in a warmer place. I blast Mozart and Vivaldi through the house. I stay up late to talk to them and make sure they will make it through the night.

By the time my sister comes back, sun-kissed and reborn from her vacation, I manage to kill half her plants. She grabs whatever plants are still half-alive and storms out- saying she will never trust me with them ever again. I pour myself a glass of wine and cheer to the plants I killed. I’m a plant murderer.

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Hate running and do it with a passion

Running doesn’t keep me happy. I don’t care if they have cute running clothes to make me look like I am dying less when I run. Nor do I care for the positive brain effects and endorphin that release as I run. Ok? I couldn’t care less.

I have no love for running whatsoever. I do it purely and solely because it is good for my health. There is no love relationship with it; I am not passionate for the sweating and the huffing and puffing I go through every-time. I am not a fan of having to convince myself from not stopping all the time. It is a constant mental battle and constant fighting with my body. Because, I guess, some people have bodies which are in dying need of running. My body is in dying need of couch-ing. When I run, I am like a nagging wife who constantly reminds her husband to do something. “Don’t stop, run faster, don’t stop, think positive, you can do this, don’t stop, pick up the pace, yes you can do another five minutes, don’t stop, didn’t I tell you not to stop?!”

But, as I tell all my friends who find running to be “boring” and hate to do it… You probably don’t like to go to work everyday either and yet…. you go. You make yourself do it. Why? Because you get paid. If you go running, you are compensated with good/better health. It’s boring, yes, but how many things in life are beautifully boring and yet a major part of our lives? So do it, be passionate about your hate for running and go sweat your butt off.

P.S: Thanks for reading my post, now share your thoughts on running with me 🙂

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Note to self: Be grateful. Be more grateful.

I like to think I am a grateful person, but perhaps I am not as grateful for things as much as I would like to be. As Jack Dawson said: “I got air in my lungs, and a few blank sheets of paper” (still one of my favorite quotes from Titanic).

I am healthy, I have a job, I get to find time time to enjoy my hobbies, I have David by my side. I have my wacky family by my side (for the most part). I live in the best country on Earth (‘Merica!) and I have food on the table. Above all, I get to write stories. I should be so grateful. So darn grateful. But I am not. I constantly want more. I want to sell more books, lose weight, travel more, upgrade my kitchen (it is so tiny!) etc.

So today, I acknowledge my blessings and I will strive my best to be better at stopping and counting them more. I am lucky. So lucky. How grateful are you for what you have?

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Changing car tires like a pro (women, unite!)

I am not much of a feminist, really… as much as I am an egalitarian. In that spirit, I finally learned what any woman should learn: how to change a tire!

First of, it was not out of necessity. I was not stranded on a highway waving all sexy-like to guys so they would stop and heroically help me change the flat.

No, I learned because I wanted to. My friend Susan’s car was in desperate need of tire rotation and as usual, she was going to make her husband do it. But then I stopped her: “You know what, Susan, I’ll do it. We will do it together!”

And so, with a little help from internet DIY videos, we got our hands all gross dirty. I was sweating like any mechanic would and I think I even cursed a few times. The only thing Susan’s garage needed was a calendar with sexy, chizzled guys.

Today, I proudly type this with blisters decorating the palms of my hands. I am proud I did it. It was quite a no-brainer once I rotated the first tire.

If women want equality, they should not expect of men to do “men tasks.” The only time we should, PERHAPS, intentionally ask men for help (due to their strength) is when lifting really, really heavy things. Women can be very strong, but man are just stronger. Even David, my chubby little man who never lifts things, can lift heavier things than I do (despite my lifting at the gym). So, ladies, no more excuses. When will you learn how to change a tire?

Share your comments/ thoughts with me! Comment below! 🙂

P.S: Thank you, beautiful reader, who bought my book on Amazon! It made my day! Leave a review, love it or hate it!

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Clubbing for the sake of clubbing

Michael and Kate have been together for seven years now, I think. Kate has gorgeous black hair and she pierced Michael’s heart with those stunning blue eyes of hers. Michael is also quite a handsome man who can drown himself in alcohol every night and yet, he is not whiny and groggy when his hangover kicks in the next morning.

The reason why Michael and Kate are so fascinating to me is that they are thirty-ish years old and they still go out clubbing. Twice a week is a must! Before you say Michael and Kate obviously don’t have jobs, Michael has a full-time job and Kate does work full-time too (although she tends to go from one job to another). But since I have known them, they go out and get drunk like they are still fifteen. And the thrill is apparently still there. How is that possible? How is the thrill still there?

To me the thrill faded away when I met David. Because, honestly, once you meet someone you are pretty serious about- you don’t really want to go clubbing anymore. I mean….dark, smokey places with drunk, sweaty and often slimy strangers accompanied by loud, repetitive music kind of lose their appeal. Right? Then, I got older too and staying up til 6 am felt like a punishment, not enjoyment. I couldn’t stay up all night anymore; my back hurt like I was carrying heavy blocks of cements around for hours (just from standing/dancing at the club) and waking up the next afternoon felt like I was a living zombie- by the time I woke up the night was coming down and ultimately I failed to see the light of day.

And as I am typing this on a sunny Monday morning, barely awake from my seven hour sleep, I know Michael and Kate probably got home at 4 am and are already at work talking about another great night of partying. And I wish I could understand the thrill again. But I just can’t.

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The misuse of the word “Curvy”

Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue features its first-ever plus-size model”  I couldn’t help myself but clicking on the darn article. I am not skinny at all. But I am not fat either- mostly hourglass shaped. I have some junk in the trunk but the trunk is not overflowing if you know what I mean. So I click on this article and I get mad. Further I scroll down, more annoyed I get.

Somehow the “beauty” industry either has to go Holocaust skinny or obese with their models and label them as “curvy.” I’m almost insulted the way they use the word curvy. Because when I saw Ashley Graham on that cover she does not look curvy but she looks fat. And she can be whatever size she wants to be, but I wish they wouldn’t call her curvy. Because curves mean something else. Or at least, it used to mean something else.

It is hard to write this as I encourage the industry to move away from the ghostly skinny standards, but encouraging obesity is not something they should do either. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.

American women have to stop hiding under the layer of “curviness” when they are actually fat. If you want to be fat, fine, be fat. I like to be fat too sometimes. But the bigger concern is that Americans are misinformed on what being fat these days actually means. More than one-third of American adults are obese. We’ve gotten so used to seeing our obese friends we compare ourselves to them. My Mom is fat, my sister is fat, my Dad is fat…. but I mean, compared to those really fat people I see elsewhere, they are normal sized, right?

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