Rainy Day Data

By | at the office, being a computer genius, cool things i found on the internet, employment, how did i just realize this?, salesforce, you might learn something | No Comments

I was supposed to go to New Jersey this weekend. Had my bags packed and everything. But then my car kept acting up, and the weather forecast looked pretty unfortunate, so when my alarm went off at 5:30 yesterday morning, I made the groggy decision to just sleep for two more hours and go to work instead of drive up there.

I’m glad I did work yesterday because I had a call with a prospective new client at 9:30, signed a contract to do some work for them at 10am, and was finished with the entire project and ready to invoice it by the end of the day. It was kind of a Salesforce project, but it was mostly a data cleansing and augmentation project. I find myself working on a lot of those lately.

I think I always had an affinity for data. It started out as an obsession with grammar and categorizing things into lists in my journals and diaries when I was younger. It evolved into immaculate file-naming conventions in college and impeccable folder structures, which were admired by everyone in my office at my first “real job.” It’s the reason I created such silly categories (then tags) for this blog. When TranSystems implemented a CRM system, I became vigilant about always using the system as the source of truth. And when my last company decided to overhaul their internal communication and multiple applications with Salesforce,  integrating it with their back-end system, I volunteered to lead the project because I couldn’t imagine anyone being able to get a handle on that company’s data (and processes) better than I could.

I never really knew the proper way to clean up a massive amount of data. Every time I’ve done it (until yesterday), I’ve done it in Excel, Google Sheets and/or Smartsheet, but I’ve always known that wasn’t the “right” way to do it. Last time a client asked me to take the lead on a big data migration, I chickened out and deferred to another consultant because I wasn’t confident enough in my strategy for doing it. That other consultant screwed it up royally, and I felt terrible for making that recommendation, which is why I did commit to helping them clean it all up.

It’s also why I spent this rainy day at work mastering my new favorite free thing I found on the Internet: OpenRefine. I cleaned up about a half a million pieces of data in three hours today. It sounds super nerdy, but I was pretty excited about it. 🙂

Speaking of work, today marks one year of me not having a “real job” anymore. And while that means I work excessively and haven’t had a real paycheck in 365 days…it also means I’ve spent an entire year not wasting a single minute wondering what I could be doing instead of my job. And that feels pretty amazing. 🙂

I’ve learned a lot about time, money, success, happiness, and work over the last year. Maybe I’ll write about that next.

Holidays @ the Office

By | at the office, employment, holiday fun, videos | No Comments

2013 ADS Holiday Video from ADS Tactical on Vimeo.

I never thought I’d say this, but even though I’m on vacation this week, I kind of miss work a little. I guess work has its ups and downs just like everything else. A year ago, the last thing I wanted to cross my mind on vacation was work, but lately we’ve been making lots of progress, accomplishing lots of cool things, and been generally having a decent time doing it. When I get back to the office on January 3rd, we kick off a major new project, and I can’t wait to get started. In the meantime, I’ve been doing a few things here and there, answering e-mails, jotting down ideas, reading up on some new IT stuff, and secretly watching this video over and over again because it’s hilarious.

Unfortunately, I was not quite festive enough to participate in the making of this video. My brilliant co-worker Jordan directed, filmed and edited the whole thing, and I love it so much, I figured I may as well share it. Enjoy. =)

Happy holidays!

10 Years, 10 Friends, 10 Days: The Co-Worker

By | at the office, diesel the puggle, employment, friends, guest posts, kona the kitty, links, mele the kitty, milestones, what have you been doing for the last 10 years? | 2 Comments


My favorite co-worker Michelle, who I’ve known since June 17, 2009 — the day I started working at my current company. Since that day, we’ve each changed jobs, moved around the building, and been focused on lots of different projects, but she’s still my lunch buddy and always up for an afternoon walk to Starbucks where we catch up on work and life. From creating ridiculous forms to watching operas in the movie theater, we always find a way to make everything fun(ny). Also, I’m pretty sure she likes my cats more than I do.

There are few people in the world that truly impress me on every level; Lisa is one of those few. When I heard of her idea to allow guest bloggers to talk about their favorite posts through the years, I was pretty excited. Partly because I was crossing my fingers that I would be one of the chosen ones and also because over the years that I have known Lisa, I feel like I’ve participated in some of the posts when I take the photos of her outfits during our longer-than-average lunch breaks. Through the years that I have known Lisa, she’s been my style-sensei, my good-music-guru, my make-up-maven, and my all-around friend. Here are my notes from my favorite posts from the last ten years!

The Road Less Traveled – 7/22/13
It’s the post that sums up what I feel when I read what Lisa writes. It’s damn-near poetic. Her words are hypnotic, you can’t stop reading. She has a way of bringing you to the exact place where she is with her hyper-accurate descriptions and evocations of feeling. It was like being there.

12 Things I Secretly Love About Being Single (Legally) at 31 – 12/12/12
This one was hysterical. Again, her words will wrap you up in their meaning, and it’s the kind of reading that pulls you into her view. I especially love number 6 about having babies!

30 for 30 Flashback – 11/16/12
Who would have thought that someone could take ONLY 30 pieces from your closet and wear them and ONLY them for 30 days AND not repeat any combinations! I never would have thought that it would even be possible, but this is the proof. These kinds of posts that Lisa created always make me think about the possibilities that I have in my own closet. Under her tutelage, I have become a little more open to trying new ideas with clothes and I have officially thrown out my standard black Mary Janes!

Fisheye – 7/3/12
The photographs on this post are absolutely beautiful! She has an eye for finding the right light, the right view, and just the right end product!

The Menagerie – 11/14/11
I’ll end with this. I think over the past few years, I’ve grown to nearly love these two cats. Mele and Kona are the closest thing to “liking someone else’s kids” that I can get. As for Diesel, I’ve only met him a few times.

But he’s pretty cute. She meant to add that Diesel is ridiculously, incredibly, undeniably the cutest puppy ever.

Time Out

By | books, employment, food, music, pineapples and palm trees, take me away, weather | No Comments


I always used to say, “If I’m not working, I’m on vacation.” On a 29-degree workday, the closest I could come to a tropical getaway on my lunch break was to munch on a Cuban guava pastry (pastelito de guyaba compliments of a co-worker who just returned from Key West), bundle up in a winter coat, and trudge out to my car, where I enjoyed the sounds of Caribbean music while catching some rays through the sunroof and immersing myself in Treasure Island on my Kindle for an hour. That counts, right?

Indian Summer

By | don't waste the pretty, employment, hazards to my well-being, not ruling at life, take me away, weather | 2 Comments


The last few days have felt like summer — breezy, sunny, 75 degrees. I’ve been a little overwhelmed at work, so I’ve made it a point to set aside a little time for myself to do something relaxing every day this week. Monday, I spent my lunch break enjoying a sandwich on a quiet bench at the beach. Last night, I had a nice dinner alone at the bar at 501 City Grill. Tonight, I took a long bath and successfully completed quite few crossword puzzles.

The wind is picking up, and the rain is about to start — maybe our last thunderstorm of the year? The temperature will take a nosedive by morning, but for now…the door is open, the fan is on, and I’ve got Radio Margaritaville playing in the background. I’ve got my fingers crossed that tomorrow is an easier day at work, but I’ll be wearing my new red rain boots, and I’m planning to treat myself to a Peppermint Mocha and a manicure just in case. And even if things get super-stressful, I’ve already got a spa appointment for a facial scheduled for Friday afternoon. =)

I hope you’re having a better week than me!