You know the drill: I relay the uninteresting yet sometimes amusing things that fill my post-grad days with goodness, despair, and/or amusement. Okay, not so much despair but more of the awkward, I-called-my-boss-mom moments (NOTE: didn’t actually call my boss mom…yet).

Let’s begin with Part 3 of my series on life in Pittsburgh, PA: The Good, The Bad, The Funny. I will begin with my least favorite quote of all time, for your reference in case you ever consider buying me a card with these sentiments.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

-Dr. Seuss, in a quote used by the general public in such sappy ways that it makes me want to flip a table of rational rage every time I see it


The Bad

  • SUMMER COLD:  I have the great honor of sharing genes with Pam Leuenberger, my mother, whom I recently described to a friend as “having an immune system like a steel wall.” My mother never gets sick. I’ve maybe seen her sick 5 times in my whole life. The woman either resists sickness like I resist consuming seafood dishes, or wards off sickness like a poster-child for a health and wellness magazine. Considering all these things, I too have a strong immune system, having resisted that strain of swine flu that everyone was freaking out about back in 2011, and having only gotten sick at college maybe 3 times. BUT MY LUCKY STREAK IS OVER! I came down with a nasty summer cold these past 24 hours, but I feel like the Pam Leuenberger in me is stirring, and my immune system is combatting this sickness with the resistance of one thousand Bernie Sanders supporters at the DNC. Here’s to hoping that I kick this cold in the butt and am able to move on with my life!
  • EVERY TIME I GO RUNNING I LOOK LIKE I WENT SWIMMING: Well folks, it is HUMID here in Pittsburgh. I checked the weather the other morning before I went out for a run and realized it said it was 90% humidity. WOWZA. Running has become less of pleasurable activity and more of a scientific study on how much I can sweat and survive and/or be accepted by fellow members of society. Yesterday when I went outside to walk to the post office, the air was so humid I thought I might need an oxygen tank. Oh, PA weather systems, how you spoil us…

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The Funny 

  • FUN THINGS TO DO AT 5:45 AM: I enjoy waking up early. It makes me feel like I’m Ashton Kutcher and everyone else just got punk’d because I got up and went for a run, showered, made pancakes, cleaned my bathroom and still got to work by 9 AM. Waking up early empowers me. But a couple days ago, I wasn’t feeling so empowered. I got up at a leisurely pace, heading down the stairs around 5:30 to get my bottle of water filled up before I went running. While I was doing that, I heard a loud sound echoing through the neighborhood. “That sounds like the garbage truck. That’s weird because today the garbage doesn’t come until later,” I thought to myself, realizing that the garbage can and several bags of lawn clippings were still nestled securely underneath my back deck, far out of sight from any passing trash men. “THAT IS THE GARBAGE TRUCK” my brain finally realized as the flashing lights approached my house. I tore out of the back door, grabbed my bags of trash with what can only be described as tenacious motherly instincts, and bolted to the front of the house where upon my arrival shouted to the garbage truck, “WAIT MY TRASH HEYYYYY!!!” After chasing the garbage truck, the garbagemen were kind enough to stop, help me load my trash, and even share a few witty comments. I was pleasantly surprised with the whole business. However, I did get pelted with extremely strong lawn sprinklers on my way back home, which wasn’t an ideal thing, but ya know you take what you can get.
  • I CAN PARALLEL PARK: Okay so there’s not a whole list of things I am terrified of, but if there was a short list it would include grizzly bears, sharks, and parallel parking. Since moving to Pittsburgh, I have been terrified with the notion of parallel parking, a task I have not done since I was 16 and miraculously passed the driving test which included parallel parking (a moment which I literally sang ‘Jesus Take the Wheel’ in my head while completing the driving exam). But my friends, lemme tell ya: I HAVE DONE IT! TWICE! I have successfully parallel parked, and this is a huge victory. I no longer feel overwhelming fear with the thought of parallel parking, but acceptance. Thank you for all who believed in me up to this point.

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The Good  

  • GOLDEN RETRIEVER PUPPY!: Each morning when I run, I see the same people who also include it in their routine. One of those people is a lady WHO JUST GOT A GOLDEN RETRIEVER PUPPY!!! This is HUGE. Everyday I get to see the puppy, and to say it fills my heart with incomprehensible joy is an accurate statement. Oh how my heart longs for a golden of my own…
  • KICK BUTT DINNERS: I grew up not doing pretty much any cooking because Pam Leuenberger in addition to having the immune system of a steel wall is the world’s best mom-cook. She is amazing. There was no need for me to cook, because mom had it covered. I was therefore a little apprehensive about what this would mean when I moved on my own. But once again, thanks to genes and a new found interest, I have been making good food! I’ve made dinners like coconut curry turkey meatballs, black bean burgers with guacamole, lime and soy chicken stir fry, and grilled chicken with fresh, homemade pico de gallo. It’s been so tasty! Guests have consumed this food! They have liked it! #DinnertimeWithGrace is becoming a thing, so stay tuned on Instagram for the latest experiments in the world of dinner.

Would ya look at! Chicken! Pico de gallo! Black beans! A WHOLE MANGO!!!!

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  • SOMETHING TERRIBLE HAPPENED BUT IT TURNED OUT GREAT: Last week, I was visiting a friend downtown and was running a little behind. In the rush of things and in the dark of the parking garage I was in, I chose to try to pull into a more narrow parking spot. BAD CHOICE. As I tried to straighten out in the spot, I scraped my front bumper onto the side of the other car. When I got out to see the damage, I saw there was minor scraping on my car, but that the other car had a big dent. I was devastated, and so disappointed that I made that error. It was very troubling! After leaving a note with all the relevant info with the other car, I waited. No response from the driver that day. I was feeling really nervous about the whole situation, and what it would cost me and how it would impact my insurance. However, the next day, I looked at my phone to see a voicemail from a very nice lady whose car I hit. It turns out that the dent in her car wasn’t actually me–she had hit another car earlier in the year and had scrapes and dents from that accident. There was no claim to be made! It was totally fine. I was SO INCREDIBLY thankful for this turn of events. It was amazing!

In Summary

Soon my college friends will go back to school…about 3 weeks now! It’s weird that I’m staying here, but I am excited to see what it’s like to live like this. I think it will be fun. I’m going to try to make it fun! I’m excited to continue cooking and exploring, two things which I am getting better at thanks to my mom’s genes kicking in and my new found skill of parallel parking.

So until next time my friends…THIS TRAILER OF THE BEST TELEVISION SHOW IN THE WORLD THAT I AM REALLY EXCITED ABOUT

 

I am most definitely SHERLOCKED.

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Posted by:Grace Leuenberger

"I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares.”

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