Saturday, January 26, 2008

Workin' Progress

So, the part-time job search is now in full swing. I have applied to 4 places so far, but haven't heard back from any yet. Granted, most of them were pretty recent posts on craigslist, so they're probably still compiling resumes. I applied for:

1. A retail position in the women's shoe department at Macy's at both the mall near work and the mall near home. Does that count as two, then?
2. A position as the administrative/executive assistant to the Executive Director of a Jewish non-profit. No knowledge of Judaism required, but I'm sure it didn't hurt that I signed my cover letter, "Shalom, Nina." haha.
3. This one's with a wedding photography company: I would meet with brides and have them look through the company's portfolio to see if they wanted to hire them. There's a lot of sales in it, but if they're good (they are), and I'm charismatic (I am), it shouldn't be too hard.
4. Another wedding-related one, and another retail position: a consultant at a high-end bridal salon. They carry like serious couture gowns, fo real.

I'll keep you posted on my workin' progress. That one was GOOD! It is now the title of the post.


~~~~~~~Wedding Update!~~~~~~~
Last time I posted about all of my friends' nuptials, I was attending six weddings this year, and one next year. Now, there are seven weddings this year and none next year (so far), but I'm still only attending six.

The explanation: The bride of the August 2009 wedding absolutely MUST get married in the month of August (it was too loud to delve into why). She had great reasons to wait until 2009, but decided that she didn't actually want to wait, so on New Year's Day, she and her fiancee set the date to be one year earlier. How sweeeeet. My two November brides are on opposite coasts, and while the dates were originally going to be one week apart, they are now about 24 hours apart. Seeing as how the west coast bride is one of my very best friends, I will absolutely be going to hers. Steve will be attending the New Jersey wedding, and he better take pictures for my book.

So, here is the wedding schedule for 2008:
May 25, PA-- I'm helping out with day-of coordination duties in this one!
June 13, CA-- Loyal Bridesmaid.
June 28, DE
August 31, NJ
September 6, NJ
November 7, NJ (Steve only)
November 8, CA

Whew! The plan is to get one STUNNING summer dress, and one FANTASTIC fall dress (with the money I make in my part-time job, obviously).

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Finally, weekend plans:

Last night: rock and roll show in New Jersey. Great fun. We also stopped by Steve's house and got an old/extra TV from his dad because ours has been angry.

Today: I dropped my car off for an oil change and some other maintenance things, and it's ready! Steve's at work until after they close, so I'm going to have to walk back to pick it up. It's 3 miles away, so I may just skip the gym today.

On the way, I'm going to drop off a coat for dry-cleaning and then send the bill to the restaurant where I got a tray of drinks spilled on me a couple weekends ago.

Tonight: Ugly Sweater Party! I already donated the sweater from the last one, so we'll see what I come up with. (I think Steve has a few, but I don't know if he realizes that they are, in fact, ugly.)

Tomorrow: Roe v. Wade Commemoration (35 years!) in the afternoon and dinner in Center City. Restaurant Week begins tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Enough Isn't Enough

Today was good...and bad...and will get better, with the airing of Project Runway tonight.

First, the good:
A fellow Community Educator/Outreach Worker and I went on a 15-organization tour of Northern Delaware to promote a program our department pretty much revolves around. The direct marketing was an idea that was brought up far too long ago for it to be going into effect now, but it's happening nonetheless, and I'm happy about it. It looks like we'll get several organizations (two of them churches!) to bite.

Next, the bad:
I've been really, really worried about my financial situation lately, and things are just not looking up. Well, they are a little, since we're getting another roommate that will lower rent and utilities, but honestly: not enough to make much of a difference. My salary, which was "enough" for having an opportunity to do what I've wanted to do since middle school is putting me in the position of living from paycheck to paycheck (plus charging on credit and dipping into savings). In fact, I just finished cooking the books to figure out just how much I have left over each month after taking out the mandatory expenses. I won't tell you the number, but I will say that it's certainly not enough for savings, any surprise mandatory expenses, and a single cent of fun (well, maybe A cent).

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e·nough
Pronunciation[i-nuhf]
–adjective 1. adequate for the want or need; sufficient for the purpose or to satisfy desire: enough water; noise enough to wake the dead.
–pronoun 2. an adequate quantity or number; sufficiency.
–adverb 3. in a quantity or degree that answers a purpose or satisfies a need or desire; sufficiently.
4. fully or quite: ready enough.
–interjection 5. (used to express impatience or exasperation): Enough! I heard you the first time.
—Synonyms 1. ample. 3. adequately, amply, reasonably.
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I'm giving myself a semantic sensation, and probably boring you to death, with all this enough talk. Enough already!

*Sigh* It looks like it's time for that part-time job.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Insane in the membrane

I'm not missing!

1. Work has been crazy. And I don't mean crazy-busy, I mean, let's commit my department (not individuals, I mean the entity that is my department). In fact, let's commit the entire admin floor.

2. I've been working out with amazing regularity, though I skipped the gym today because of the snow! My drive home took an hour, and with a stop at the gym, who knows when I would have made it home? Plus, I was hungry. I'll go tomorrow.

3. I got a hair modeling gig! I found a stylist that wants to pump up his portfolio (and hopefully get published). We already met and discussed the cut, so there won't be any surprises that could get me in trouble at work. I also looked through his portfolio and have deemed him worthy of cutting my hair (a VERY elite club). He's giving me between $30 and $50 for the cut and photos, and all future haircuts (AND product) are FREE! So that's exciting, to say the least. (The very least.)


Last night Steve and I saw Juno (awwwwesome), and Diana (from work) and I are going to see 27 Dresses on Monday-- a day off! I've gotta fill my girly wedding movie winter quota.

Well, that should about do it for now. Time to stop munching and actually eat a meal.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I remembered!

The other thought I had was the announcement that I'm back in book zone! For a while, none of the books I picked up kept my interest. But I have since read Christopher Buckley's (Thank You For Smoking) Boomsday, which was awesome, and now I'm reading David Sedaris' Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. I can't wait to pick my next one, which will either be a new recruit or one that's been on the To Read list for far too long.

Bobbie's latest post has inspired me to go get Michael Cunningham's new one, Flesh and Blood, because I loved, loved, loved The Hours.

Oh, I want to pick up some other Christopher Moore books, too.

Man oh man, all these authors just fighting for my love!

Alright, now I'm done.

Every Cowboy Sings a Sad, Sad Song

Well! I had a glass of wine with dinner and am admittedly a little buzzed! That was a surprise. I'm just sitting here, simply delighted with the wonders of the internet and the musical stylings of composer Mark Mothersbaugh (of Devo and Rugrats' theme fame). Did that sound pretentious? I think mention of Devo and Rugrats pretty much guarantees it didn't. Right?

Anyway, I'm nearing the end of Day 5 without coffee and doing great! I'm thinking that when I start drinking coffee again (did you read that, Mom? "WHEN"), I will only drink decaf, and only drink it as a treat. It will no longer be my pick-me-up, and I think I will gain a new appreciation for it. Not that I didn't appreciate coffee before, just that this appreciation will be different.

I had another thought I wanted to share, but just lost it.

Oh well. Don't forget to watch the season premiere of Rock of Love II on VH1 tonight at 9 (8 central), everyone!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I got my mind on my money and my money on my mind.

Auuuughh....change of plans due to receiving my electronic credit card statement today.

Yesterday, Steve and I stayed in and watched Six Feet Under. We're crazy-addicted and almost done with Season 3.

This morning, I went to the grocery store and actually bought a healthy amount of food that consists mostly of things from which I can make actual meals, instead of things that are simply edible. The damage was pretty, well, damaging, but I got some good coupons and took a survey for a $5 gift card. Whew!

Then I went to CVS and spent a good portion of the rebate I got from when I bought Steve's birthday cell phone. At least I have some cash in my wallet now (to reimburse Amelia for a beverage and to stash away for when Girl Scout cookies are delivered).

When I got back from CVS, the dreaded credit card bill was waiting for me and it is out of control (even though I haven't used it since before Christmas, because I knew it was out of control); and not even from frivolous purchases like fancy meals and clothes! It's seriously all gas, groceries, and, oh yeah: plane tickets. I also know a bill from Toyota, Geico, Philadelphia Gas and Electric, and Comcast are on their way, not to mention rent.

So no more mall (or even Goodwill) for me. I got a gift card for Christmas, but have decided to use it for meals out only.

I get paid on Friday, I get paid on Friday, I get paid on Friday...

Friday, January 11, 2008

Go with the Flow

What was up with that comment on yesterday's blog? Maybe I should add that word verification thing. It was pretty funny, though.

()()()()()()()
The Coffee Report:
Today is Day 3 without coffee, and I'll say this: it is much easier than Day 2. Yesterday felt like a whole week rolled into a day, and I blame withdrawal. BUT, as I was leaving, two other coworkers mentioned how exhausted they were and how the day just wouldn't end. So maybe it wasn't the lack of coffee in my system (though I'm sure it didn't help).

When I eat breakfast at home, I have a glass of juice instead of a cup of coffee. This has actually helped to remind me to take my vitamins. When I get to work, I have a cup of tea. The selection in my desk includes: English Breakfast, Earl Grey (the man), Green, Raspberry, Peach, and Orange Spice. Luckily, it's been raining over here so I don't feel odd drinking tea in the morning. I drink it out of a Sandra Boynton mug that reminds me of my mom's mugs when I was younger (she has since gotten classier and has the mug cupboard stocked with delicate, artsy mugs with flowers and garden bugs). If I didn't already have such a large mug collection, I'd search for some particularly pun-y Boynton mugs at thrift stores.

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The plan for this weekend:

Today: Gym after work, nothing planned for tonight as of yet.

Tomorrow: Perhaps a jaunt to the mall where I plan to find some slacks and who knows what else? I'd also like to go to Goodwill since I have nearly every weekend and we need more glasses (you can't beat the housewares at Goodwill). Then Steve and I are going to explore downtown West Chester, and then go to Bear, DE (I love that it's called Bear) for a party. Last time we went to Bear, we accidentally went to Maryland. That still blows my mind.

Sunday: The gym again (I've been so good!), Trader Joe's on the way back (yum!), and any errands/shopping I decided not to do on Saturday.

Sounds like fun!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Coffee Talk

Today, I gave up coffee.

WHAAAAT?!

Yep. I've been drinking the nectar of the gods since I was about 8 years old (right, Mom?), and have loved almost every cup. But lately, after several sips of my morning ritual, my pick-me-up, my treat, my love, I have been grossly disappointed by the taste.

I don't think that I can attribute the decline in my satisfaction to the new brand of coffee I bought at the grocery store last week, as it started quite some time before I switched. Even a sip of the coffee at the shop down the street from work (voted Delaware's best, mind you) gives me a mug (ha!) of disappointment and, at times, disgust.

So what am I going to do? Well, I've already had about twice as much water than I usually do, so that's pretty cool. I've also discovered mate, which is absolutely delicious. (Unfortunately, I do not have a gourd from which to enjoy it.) Tea will work for caffeine cravings, though I find it difficult to drink tea during the day unless it is raining, ridiculously cold, or I am sick.

Next time I go to Steve's parents' house, I'll be picking up his sister's extra espresso machine. What's the point, right? Well, I have a few thoughts on this:
1. Maybe coffee is just too weak for me now, and I need espresso instead.
2. Maybe an espresso machine will refine the way my coffee is prepared and lead to a more complete enjoyment of the beverage.
3. Maybe I just need a break.
4. I don't really care how successful I am at all this. I identify as a coffee drinker, and I would like to continue to do so. It's a subculture to which I have always been happy to belong, and it would be positively depressing to have to say goodbye for good.

So right now, it's just: see you later, caffeinator.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Job? Check.

Good news! Not only are we keeping our grant, but I'm also eligible for a raise (at the start of the next fiscal year), despite the fact that my position is grant-funded! How that works, I'm not really sure, but I honestly don't care. I mean, it wouldn't be huge, but every dollar counts.

Also, Steve's friend Dan may move in with us in March, which would shave $100 off the rent and cut utilities into quarters instead of thirds. I would rather not have four people in this house, but we have an extra bedroom and we're helping a friend out (something I'm always a fan of)-- and getting some perk$ while we're at it. Hallelujah.

Before you plant the seeds...

My horoscope for today:
"Your feelings have run their course and may seem like they've returned to the cosmic recycling bin. Still, you are not yet ready to transition into what's next. Instead of planting a new crop of ideas in the garden of your imagination, think about the importance of the compost pile where today's garbage magically transforms into tomorrow's healthy soil. Be patient and allow the process to evolve at its own pace."

Isn't that pretty? I had to post it for you, Mom. Anyway, after reading it a bunch of times, I think I pretty much get it.

Some of my feelings right now include angst, worry, and hope. I'm feeling a little angsty right now because of Rob. Things had been pretty good on the home front for a couple of months, but he has dropped back into his old ways of stealing my food (which I REALLY don't have much of), not replacing the TP or paper towel rolls when he finishes them off, not clearing his incredibly massive hairballs out of the shower drain after showers...you know, the little things that add up and drive me so completely insane.

The worry and hope are for my job. My entire job is funded by a portion of a grant that lasts through the middle of the summer. Just before Christmas there was a meeting to discover how (and if) the grant will be played out next year. We have yet to hear the results, which makes me nervous because what if they just didn't want to deliver the bad news at the holidays? Anyway, we have a department meeting today and I'm sure we'll get the verdict then. Worry and hope always go together.

Anyway, hopefully this worry garbage turns into fertile soil by tomorrow. Maybe we'll be awarded MORE grant money this year! Ha. I'll keep you (com)posted.

...Get it?

Friday, January 4, 2008

¿Cuando mi reflecion me dirá quién soy?

In the chaos and following mess of our New Year's Eve party, I didn't get a chance to sit down and do the personal reflection on the year past that's so wonderfully cathartic and cliche. Now that I've had some time to recover, clean, and settle into 2008, here are some thoughts. Enjoy (if I do, in fact, still have a readership).

2007 began with a leap into adulthood when I moved in with Steve in Dorchester and also took my first "real" job. I felt bad about breaking the lease with Laura, I really did, but I think that it really was the best thing to do for our friendship as well as my relationship with Steve. The job, however, was not a good move, as I was lead on, mistreated and disrespected. I left in mid-February and took a full time job at Irving House, where I made some great friends and realized that hospitality wasn't my calling.

In the early summer or so, the mix of being...not unhappy, but not happy at my job, being out of college, and not seeing my friends as often as I used to (probably because of the aforementioned factors and my move to Dorchester) made me crave something completely new. I started job searching like a maniac, all over the country, concentrating on Boston, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Someone would have to bite, right? Wrong. Our lease was up on August 31st, and we'd have to decide what we were doing/where we were going ASAP. We thought that the job offer would happen and the move would follow, but we had to accept that we were going to have to choose a new 'hood and pray for work there.

So we did. We picked the Philadelphia area for several reasons, most of which seemed incredibly dumb when I got hit--hard--with depression a month or two after the move. It was really unavoidable, though; there were so many stressors that just kept adding up. New job (someone DID bite!), new car (bye bye money), new roommate (hello Rob), new geographical everything (goodbye sense of direction), family woes back on the left coast (good morning heartache), band problems for Steve (be the supportive girlfriend) and absolutely no friends of my own (stranger danger!). But I'm working really hard to better my situation, and can confidently say that I am succeeding (it'll always be a work in progress). The reasons for choosing Philly don't seem dumb anymore.

2007 was also full of great news (not that some of the stressors weren't good). The family business is booming, which meant high spirits for my dad and delicious little bonuses in my bank account. My mom got promoted at work which seems like a lot of work, but is certainly a welcome and well-deserved distraction for her. My dear friend Jenna got engaged to the man of her dreams, as did Christine (barely making the cut for a 2007 reflection). Crazy to think that next year's reflection will include their nuptials. Steve's family has really opened their hearts to me, and, although I don't think we're next, I'm confident that it will happen for us too, and I will officially be part of his family, and he mine (though it feels like that's the case already).

What's odd is that 2007 was missing something: a big vacation. And I think that's another call of adulthood, as it would have been funded entirely by me, and I certainly did not have the money. In late 2006, my family went to Mexico City. In 2007, Steve and I took weekend trips to Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Philly, but we never went abroad together. We did spend two weeks in California, but there's nothing new about that (for me, anyway). The weekend trips were pretty amazing though...I snowboarded, I played slots (and won), I ate some amazing food and saw some great bands, I relaxed on the beach and did some fun shopping.

It was a good year. Awfully hard, but then it wouldn't seem as good if it wasn't.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Partymonster

Party Like It's Going Out of Style was a hit! Here are the promised pictures:

A dancin' shot.



Shoe condom.



Check out my velvet, poofy-sleeved shrug and post-cold nose!



Steve and Lenore, lookin' waaaay out of style.



I must have made a bad joke about my ridiculously unflattering lamee gold shirt.