Monday, January 13, 2014

Am I Fired Yet?

Some genius thought it would be a good idea to let me use the office label maker while organizing our equipment closet. Above is the result of a hard day's work. The real labels involve my name, but I think the edited photograph accurately portrays the general idea. I can't wait until when my boss comes in tomorrow (lord knows where he is today). Let's just say he'll be seeing stars ;-)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Who Run the (Enviro Consulting) World?

Hey Bey, I think you meant to say WOMEN
Girls apparently.

My firm is pretty small. When I first started, we had approximately 55 salaried employees nationwide, with about fifteen in our NYC office. At the time, I was one of a total of two people under age thirty in the New York office, as well as one of three women performing in a non-administrative capacity. How quickly the times have changed!

My company has won (and totally rocked I might add) a number of large project bids the past few months , resulting in hiring both additional salaried as well as temporary/hourly employees. Within approximately five months, nine people have been hired and six of those new hires are young women. The three new dudes were given the least stable, most temporary of all the new positions. And yours truly has been responsible for two new hires so far, with potentially more to come. Needless to say, office dynamics have changed dramatically of late. Let's just say discussions of zumba, shoes, and chocolate in the workplace have drastically increased. Who would have thought ladiez would be taking over the lead/asbestos/industrial hygiene/environmental hazards biz? Apparently real estate and construction environmental consulting is no longer the domain of menfolk. Hey boiz, suck my big, fat moisture meter :) 
Watch out world, badass ladiez be all up in here! Oh and ps, I have not one, not two, but THREE hard hats to call my own. And TWO pairs of safety goggles. That's hot. 
Photo credits: Beyonce, Lego 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Have a Groty Moldy Christmas

That snowman be stach-ed. Stachybotrys-ed that is. 
Gotta love I Fucking Love Science. They posted a pic of this snowman which is made entirely of various mold cultures. According to the caption, the hat, eyes, mouth, and buttons are Aspergillus niger; the arms are Aspergillus nidulans; the nose is Aspergillus terreus and Penicillium marneffei; and the body is Neosartorya. I'm not familiar with the last one, but Aspergillus/Penicillium species are particular favorites of mine (yeah I've got favorite varieties). 

And on that note, moldy Christmas to all and to all a Ganoderma night.

Photo credits: I Fucking Love Science 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Moldy Girl

Come on Barbie, let's go party!
The only thing worse than being busy or bored at work is being busy-bored - where you have a shitton of work to do, but can't seem to get anything accomplished because it's so mind-numbingly boring. What do I do in such a situation? Apparently rewrite the chorus of everyone's favorite 1997 Danish-Norwegian hit, Barbie Girl by Aqua. Feel free to come to my office and slap me in the face, I deserve it. 

I’m a moldy girl, in a moldy world
Results are shocking, tenants are balking!
I can check the air, inspecting everywhere
Spores proliferating, let’s do some abating
Come on Moldy, test household-ies!

The worst part is, I'm busy-bored writing Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (just nod your head and act like you know what a Phase I is), and just sang aloud, "girls just want to phase I". Somebody stop me. Please.

Photo credits: Barbie

Friday, October 25, 2013


Halloween is the best holiday. My birthday is two days afterward (*bro chin nod* what up All Souls Day!) and growing up, I always claimed Halloween as the theme of my birthday parties.

So you know how ugly Christmas sweater soirées have become all the rage the past few years? Well sadly, I do not own any ugly Christmas sweaters. What I DO own is an ugly Halloween sweater! I had completely forgotten about this until my mom randomly brought it up, but a misguided relative once gave me the sweater picture below as a gift when I was 14. Can you imagine any 14 year old wanting to wear this? Fuck no. Back then I was mortified by the very idea. But can you imagine any 24 year old wanting to wear this (ironically, duh!)? FUCK YES! I dug up the old sweater from  my parent's basement and have been sporting it proudly at work the past two weeks. I am the epitome of professionalism. Check it out
The beaded spider! (I took this picture later in the day while wearing the sweater, so that's actually also a close up of my boob. hehe)
And the worst, I mean best, I mean worst part -  the fringe!

To add to my ridiculousness, one of my coworkers brought me a gift for my outfit. She had been out costume shopping for her kids (insert joke from Big D about how immature I am here) and stumbled across a pair of spider web earrings. She couldn't resist buying them for me. The earrings and sweater combined = no words, just pure perfection. 

Matching spider web earrings LIKE A BOSS
In the spirit of Halloween, I would like to inform you all that this year I am going to be a ballerina (a slutty ballerina, obvs)! Please enjoy the inspiration and cuteness of dogs in ballerina costumes below. Happy Halloween!!

Evironmental Newz

As some of you may have noticed, it's been a hot second since my last blog post. That would be because my office has been working CRAZY hours the past month to complete a massive three-part project for Hurricane Sandy relief. Not kidding, two weeks ago i worked TWELVE! hours on SATURDAY and NINETEEN!!!!!! hours SUNDAY! I started work at 8:30 am and left at 3:30 am the next day. I invented my own emoticon to express how that weekend made me feel. See if you can guess the emotion I'm trying to convey:
T---   ~  ~  ~    X-(
If it isn't inherently obvious to you (although I have no idea why that would be) you are staring at a gun on the left, a bullet zooming through the air in the middle, and a dead person lying in a pool of blood on the right. I'll admit, maybe not the best emoticon ever, but whatever, I'm sure that it'll catch on. Anyway, I know those kind of hours are considered a normal work week for all my investment banker friends, but seriously, how can anyone do this to themselves on the reg? I barely made it through myself, I will admit to several mental breakdowns throughout that weekend. Fortunately my hours have returned to normal, although not so for some of my colleagues. People are definitely starting to crack (I can hear my supervisor singing manically as I type).
Unfortunately many are still experiencing Sandy's wrath
Anyway, I saw this article on the New York Times website the other day. It's a heartbreaking piece about those whose lives were forever changed by the storm, and subtly references the project in which my office has been tirelessly contributing. We've been putting together detailed and time consuming Environmental Site Assessment reports (ESAs) for home owners interested in government subsidized programs to buy or remediate their damaged properties. The woman in this article chose the buy-out option. Our reports help the gov'ment understand potential environmental concerns associated with each property. #helping Check it out, it's worth a read!

(Oh god, now my supervisor is speaking in depth about his "wacky jacket". He seriously needs to get some sleep!)

Photo credits: Grease 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Number One Rule

The number one rule of my job: don't die. 

That rule just got a whole lot harder for me to follow after completing a scaffolding safety class last Wednesday evening. I'm using the word "safety" lightly here because the course was a disaster. The instructor was just terrible. He rushed through the material and erratically bounced around the topics so that you couldn't follow a thing he said. He also wasn't the brightest bulb - he couldn't multiply 1.5 x 3 (he thought it was 7) and clearly did not know how to use Google. I'm not sure I want to entrust my safety education in the hands of someone like that...

Anyway, I put my safety certification to use the very next day. I was asked to perform some asbestos sampling on the exterior facade of a building. By exterior facade, I mean that we took the elevator to the twelfth floor where the building tapered off for the top four floors. A small perimeter of rooftop space surrounded the smalled-down portion of the building in which scaffolding had been erected all the way to the roof. Walking up four flights of scaffolding is certainly a different experience than learning about it. I'm not really afraid of heights, but I am afraid of tripping and tumbling down four flights of steep, metal stairs. Oy vey. Scary stuff! Nevertheless, I held my head up high and acted like I did this on the reg. *snap snap snap!* #LeanIn #BreakingThatGlassCeiling #GurlPower
Yup, I stood on the top of this structure
Here is a view of the side of the building from the top of the scaffolding
Andddd here's another view out towards the street. Number two rule: don't look down!
Hey mom, so what do you think of my new certification??

Ready for Anything

If only my tool set looked more like this
Last month I became a New York State certified asbestos inspector. Exciting stuff, right? Well let me tell you something even more exciting; on Friday I became the proud owner of my own personal set of asbestos sampling tools. With the help of Big D, I went on a bit of a shopping spree at the hardware store. The last thing on my list is a new backpack in which to carry all of this. I wanted to get something super cute and/or douchey, but Big D told me I should always buy the cheapest, ugliest stuff because "everything you just bought will eventually be stolen or lost without a doubt". Hmph, just let anyone try to steal from me. I kickbox and will take on anyone! (...said the girl who can barely do a set of push ups...). Then again, I have a shorter attention span than a goldfish, so I probably will lose everything within five minutes.

Regardless, watch out world! Here comes Mold (and Asbestos!) Girl wielding a box cutter and hammer! Seriously though, watch out.

Thanks for Sharing


I spent the day out and about town running errands and working (at my other non-mold related side gig). While waiting for an appointment, I casually perused a copy of Entertainment Weekly when I spotted a movie review for something with Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow. A light bulb went off in the back of my brain. A faint memory came back to me from when I had first started working at my company (I once referenced it here as well). One day my boss, a calculating, shyster kind of guy, announced to the office, "Uhh yeah, so today a few movie people will be in the office to take some pictures. They're doing background research for a film about an environmental consulting firm starring Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow."
Proof that environmental consultants are the sexiest sort of people
 After this announcement everyone in the office shared confused glances silently asking, is this guy for real?? You know what, apparently he was! So the movie isn't specifically about an environmental consulting firm, but Mark Ruffalo plays an environmental consultant! Close enough, right? The movie is actually about sex addicts... Hmmm, maybe the movie people were also doing research for that aspect of the film when they came to observe our office... Interesting, that would actually explain a lot...

Anyway, even though the movie was totally panned in reviews, I must watch Thanks for Sharing to see how much I personally inspired the direction of the film. ;) Seriously, not to brag or anything, but I can't tell you the number of times I've been told that I should have my own show. I'm sure it'd get better reviews than a 61% on Rotten Tomatoes. Until that day comes, please enjoy the trailer below!
Photo credits: Thanks for Sharing

Monday, September 9, 2013

Ready for Anything

White collar pansy on top, serious down and dirty badass on bottom
In the not too distant future, I will perform oversight management at construction sites. As a safety precaution, all workers on site, including myself, must wear reinforced toe boots. Don't want anyone's little toe-sies getting injured. My supervisor, who is one of the most overly cautious people I know, prefers non steel-toed because apparently you can get electrocuted if you step on the wrong wire. Or something. But hey, rather be safe than sorry. 

After spending a considerable time googling reinforced toe boots, I came to realize that almost all are hideous. Most look like really ugly hiking boots. I was not having that. After careful research, I finally found high top desert storm-esque army boots online and knew they were to be mine. 

This morning I channeled my inner soldier - my mission: obtain said army boots, priority level: high. I promised myself I'd finally get these boots (my boss has been nagging me for weeks) or die trying. I therefore found myself in an army surplus store receiving strange looks from everyone inside. I guess they don't get many young ladies wearing fancy silk shirts and pale pink python boat shoes in there... Anyway, mission accomplished! Check. Me. The fluff. Outtttttttt! 
Gotta love a (wo)man in uniform
Oh and P.S., obviously I had to do a fashion show for everyone in the office once I returned. I think they all were really intimidated and impressed (especially Big D, his eye roll was just a cover up). Best part is, I get to expense these boots. Holla!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

For all the Carrie Bradshaws Out There

As Cinderella, Dorothy, and the cast of Sex and the City can attest, a pair of shoes can make or break an outfit. Last week I performed an inspection of a high end shoe designer's corporate office, where a pair of sneakers sells for $400 a pop. It was very exciting because I had a chance to check out the behind-the-scenes showroom as well as meet the man behind the brand himself! Our conversation consisted of "So, what's going on here?" and "Okay, bye". But still, kinda cool, right? No? Okay, fine then. Also, nobody thought to generously gift me a pair of shoes as a thank you either. Hmph. I guess that's what happens when everybody in fashion is female or gay, and there's nobody for me to sweet talk. I was a tad disappointed to say the least, but c'est la vie!
Where my fairy godmother at?
I have to wear closed-toe shoes on inspections. These would count, no?

Photo credits: Cinderella, Anne Taintor, The Wizard of Oz

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Good Life

So I was just perusing my drafts of half written blog entries (sheesh there are a lot of them!) and came across the photos below. I totally forgot about this place! This was an inspection of a Park Avenue apartment on the Upper East Side. Its owners only spent about two weeks of the year at the place and decided to sell. I have been in my fair share of the One Percent's homes, but this place was huge. I think the apartment has at least double the space of my parent's entire house in upstate New York. The living room alone could easily  fit at least 6 copies of my bedroom inside. Word on the street informed me that the owners had purchased the place for a measly $10 mill but managed to pawn it off to its next owners for $18.5. Chump change if you ask me. Weirdly, the new owners purchased the place with all of the furnishings. Most people tend to want to do their own decorating, so that was a bit strange... But whatever, they'll probably only spend two weeks a year there as well, so why not just use the existing furniture? 

Anyway, the decorations were far from my own personal style (a bit flowery and stuffy if you ask me), but rather grand and impressive nonetheless. Below is a small sampling of what I saw:

Are those Fabergé Eggs? (Just kidding, I know they're not, but still)
I LOVE mirrored furniture. I am so totes jelly of this vanity desk!
This is what I call a princess staircase. Can you imagine picking up your prom date as she descends these stairs?? #romantical
No home is appropriately furnished without a stained glass biblical scene
The family crest?
More regal stained glass stuff. Does this remind anyone else vaguely of the crests for Ravenclaw and Griffindor?!?

You Say Tomato, I Say Thank You!

*Shudder* Macy's
Herald Square is the worst. I always thought Time Square was the worst, but I actually think Herald Square has it beat. I have no idea what the statistics are, but simply from personal experience, Herald Square may be the single most crowded area in Manhattan. First of all, there's Macy's (ewww). Don't ask me why people are attracted to that store, but apparently they are. Secondly, everybody and their mother works in Chelsea/Midtown West. I can't tell you the number of times I've run into somebody I know on the street in this hood (I actually like it when that happens, so no complaints there). And lastly but most importantly, the place is SUH-WARMING with tourists. 
Shit basically be like this, all day, er'ry day.
I need to make a PSA to all visitors of NYC: Attention! Midtown Manhattan is the absolute most boring, least fun part of NYC. Please do not waste your time walking around an area where there is literally nothing to do. The area's attractions are limited to tchotchke shops, severely mediocre and/or overpriced restaurants, and massive clothing chains found at every American mall.That's it. No need to visit.
"But it's special because it's in New York!". No, it's just got higher sales tax.
One thing that I do appreciate about this area is that Broadway plays host to a small green market every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday directly outside my office. Last Friday I was buying some plums and blueberries before work and fell into conversation with one of the market's vendors. As I was saying my goodbye, he gave me a free tomato! Yay! Nothing like the kindness of strangers and free vegetables to brighten your day :)
Science has shown that free tomatoes make you less ambivalent towards crowds. Although science has also shown that said free tomatoes increase the odds of you throwing them at crowds...

Photo credits:

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Alochol + Chocolate - Not just for Seducing Anymore

QUESTION: How do you get a group of random people (particularly women), all with varying backgrounds, ages, preferences, and tastes, who are forced to work with one another and who frequently and not-so-secretly trash talk each other, to forget their differences for an evening and act like they're be BFF4L?

ANSWER: By plying them with copious amounts of chocolate and alcohol, of course!
I've already booked this year's office holiday party at Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory
As anyone who knows me personally is aware, I take food scarily seriously, especially when it comes to cocktails and dessert. "Mom, what's the point of blowing all of my savings on rent in NYC if I DON'T try out a new bakery/bar every day?? I'd actually be wasting my money more if I didn't go out!"

So regarding the combined worlds of chocolate and booze, I feel fairly confident that I know my way around a chocolate martini or two. Yes, yes, everybody's heard of the tourist death trap Max Brenner. Let's just say their chocolate martinis are about the only thing on that menu worth a trip to that overpriced mall-quality restaurant. I'm a huge addict of The Chocolate Room (so is Oprah!), but obviously nobody from a midtown office is going to show up at an après work happy hour hang out sesh out in Brooklyn. Much more conveniently located is of course Ayza; the food is tasty but the atmosphere is too claustrophobic and pretentious for my tastes. So where does that leave us?
Amirite, ladiez?!?
I recently became aware that a personal favorite chocolate shop/cafe now serves alcohol! Woohoo! This store is particularly near and dear to my heart - growing up in rural New Hampshire, my family was close friends with the owners of a fabulous little store called L.A. Burdick Chocolates. The business has since expanded outside of The Granite State and has additional locations in Boston, Cambridge, and NYC's Flatiron District! The atmosphere is quintessentially French, with a menu of Madeleines, chocolate croissants, and rich chocolate mousse cake, among other things. They also sell handmade chocolates and truffles, and are particularly known for their chocolate mice!
Très adorable!
I recently assembled a group of colleagues for a classy night of indulging at Burdick's. The evening resulted in a pleasant night had by all. Even my 60+ year old supervisor stayed out past 9 pm! I don't know about you, but that's what I call a party. I think it goes without saying that a round of chocolate martinis was ordered immediately. For all the choco-haters out there, don't worry, there are drinks for you too. They serve beer, okay?! (I'm talking to you Porkchop). In addition to my martini, I partook in the summer seasonal menu and ordered a rhubarb spritzer. Delicious. I need to go back asap! Please be jealous of the following two photos:
Spiked hot coco and coconut cake with homemade whipped cream :)
Sorry people, I was a total dodo and didn't take any more closeup shots of our beverages. Below is a group shot that I awkwardly cropped!
Left to right: chocolate martini, chocolate martini, water, rhubarb spritzer (clear with straw), water, and red thing (I totally don't remember what that was...but it was good!)
And to close this post as I often do, please enjoy something totally random and weird I found on the internet while composing this entry: a vintage postcard from the suffragettes movement. Note the luxurious snack of choice in the smoky woman cave while the poor husband is laboring away in the kitchen sans said snack.
Apparently bonding over chocolate is our version of male bonding over sports. And trash talking the opposite gender. Obvi.
Oh and this. Okay, ciao, ciao mes biches!
At least it's a better option that "stick an aspirin between your legs". I demand free chocolate in all sex education classrooms immediately!
Photo credits: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (original version, duh),

Monday, July 15, 2013


Last week I performed an inspection at a very expensive Madison Avenue jewelry store. Even though most of the merchandise is pretty tacky, I "joked" that I would write whatever they wanted in the report in return for a bribe of some fancy jewelry. They laughed at my "joke" but did not take me up on my offer. Rude.
Marilyn knows what's up.
Photo credits: Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend