Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hey Big Spender!

I don't know where this post is going, but I just feel like writing, so here I am, in my own little publishing house, ready crank something out.

Philadelphia was just ranked #1 in a list of cities that tip best, averaging 19.6%! That's pretty cool. Tipping has been a pretty popular subject lately-- maybe because of that list? I don't when it came out-- so I've been thinking about it a lot. I always tip 20%, and then increase it for extra fabulous service, or if my funds will allow it. I rarely go under 20%, even if the service is sub-par. But how do you get the message across to the server that they need to clean up their act? I usually leave it to the other, not so nice, diners.

But then the big question is this: should diners understand that servers can have bad days too? Or should servers suck it up and deliver with a smile because that's their job? Like most things, the answer is probably somewhere in the middle.

Although my new job is most likely going to be awesome, the pay is still very characteristic of non-profit pay, so I may be looking for a part-time job. I didn't end up getting one before because my schedule was so erratic that it was too difficult to be flexible for both. But now, with the new job, I won't be working any nights or weekends, so I'll be free to work a regularly scheduled part time job. And since this study about tippers came out, maybe I should look into getting something at a restaurant near work.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

week recap in reverse

Hoooo boy! I have been BUSY!

Before working a 13-hour day today (in the sun) and sitting through completely stopped traffic for a good 40 minutes (I parked and turned my car off on an inescapable on-ramp to a freeway), I worked a slightly shorter day, also in the sun on Saturday.

On Friday, I spent the day thriftin, and found some amazing things, including a bedspread (I think) of the most vibrant colors, I love it. I'm actually planning to use it as a party tablecloth instead though (don't worry, I washed the heck out of it). I also found a GREAT vintage winter coat with adorable detailing and faux fur for $6! Annnd some other cool stuff, like a ceramic baked potato (presumably for sour cream) that shattered into a million little pieces when I dropped it on the floor upon returning home. That evening, I went to Steve's gig and partied the night away with band members' spouses and friends.

On Thursday, Steve and I woke up at our friend Danielle's place at the beach, had some cereal, and headed home. I think I vegged out for the rest of the day.

Wednesday was awesome because Steve and I got up early and headed to North Jersey to hit up Six Flags. We went on a bunch of different coasters, and I gotta say, it was a Great Adventure (it's full name is Six Flags Great Adventure, for those of you that didn't realize I was making a bad joke). Then we went to the shore for the Long Beach Idol finals (a live karaoke competition), which was awesome, and then crashed at said friend Danielle's place that night.

On Tuesday, I went to work and resigned from my position. (Here's the story of me giving my notice, to which I alluded in my last post) I was being nice by giving just two days less than two weeks' notice, because two weeks would have brought me to September 2, and I didn't think it was fair to take the paid holiday of the first (and I'm scheduled to work the Saturday before). My boss tried to convince me that I was required to give FOUR WEEKS' NOTICE and eventually ordered my last day to be September 2nd, giving the full two weeks. I think she thinks she won, but really I won because I get paid for 2 extra days instead of just one. Anyway, I start my new job after one day of resetting myself, on September 4th.

I am officially having my Liberation and Libations party on Labor Day. Any food/drink/decor/fun suggestions?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Secrets...revealed!

If you've been keeping up with my posts, you know that I've had a couple secret obligations in the last two weeks. Well, it's time to reveal what they were and what came of them.

They were job interviews. With another Planned Parenthood affiliate. And I got the job. And I accepted. TA DA!!!

I delivered my 2 weeks' notice today, and after quite a bit of resistance on my supervisor's part (not flattery-- difficulty), it was altered a bit and accepted. I think she thinks she won. Anyway, I'm extremely pleased and excited with my decision to move on because of several factors, a few of which I'll list below:
+ Location...it's very convenient to many places and people of interest.
+ Schedule...no more nights and weekends! And getting out early often, because it's affiliated with schools' schedules.
+ The people...really, I don't know anything about my chemistry with my future coworkers yet, but I do know that I will no longer be working for someone I find [insert unprofessional adjectives here].

So, how am I going to celebrate?
+ Tonight, undecided. Maybe a nice dinner out. Or I could pick up a bottle of wine or bubbly.
+ Because I have to work all weekend, I have the rest of the workweek off. So Steve and I are going to Six Flags tomorrow!
+ The above outing will be followed by going to Steve's gig, staying at a friend's house, and going to the beach.
+ And then on Friday, I'm going thriftinnnnnn!
+ And finally, I'm planning a Liberation and Libations party...I'd like to have it on Labor Day. Get it? Labor?

In deciding to leave my current place of employment, I flip-flopped a lot because I would think about all of the good things that would make it worth it to stay, and all of the unknowns about the new place that could go horribly awry. But then I was watching The Sopranos, and Lady Soprano, Carmella, said,
"More is lost by indecision than wrong decision."

And that was that. How deep.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nina-as-a-Consumer Report

It's been a while since I've discussed the dreaded money-draining, yet totally therapeutic topic of shopping. Over the weekend I made a purchase that I had been meaning to make for months and months now, and I have been looking to make another specific purchase for even longer, but have been displeased with the selection the world has to offer. The items? A Ped Egg and black flats.

Let's begin the Ped Egg. Everyone I've spoken to that's tried this thing has loved it. I was a little frightened by the looks of it, because I thought it would scrape off even my healthy skin like a cheese grater. But it's really quite gentle! I've only used it once so far, but I'm really enjoying the soft results. And it's extremely reasonable, at $9.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond! ($8.00 with those mail coupons we love so much.)


And now, the black flats. They're a staple in every girl's wardrobe, yet I can somehow never find the perfect pair. On my all-day shopping trip with Bobbie in April, we found a great pair at J. Crew for a great price. The problem? The hardware on them just wasn't me. I ended up finding a holdover pair at Rainbow (how I love thee for a disposable wardrobe), but didn't think they would have to become THE pair due to lack of choices elsewhere (they are currently a mess, too). But now that fall is nearing, I really need to find a good pair.

So I found these at Urban Outfitters:


I love them because while they are (relatively) basic black flats, they also have some old fashioned charm like tap shoes. My only concern is the price ($30, which isn't bad, but I'm so horrible at spending more than $20 on anything), but because of my year-long black flats dilemma, I'm discovering that staple kicks such as these are actually worth so, so much more. Thoughts?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hop on my train of thought. Choo choo!

I disappeared! Some of the things aiding my disappearance:
-Work. Bah!
-Laziness.
-My family reunion in North Carolina last weekend!

But I'm back now. (I just finished catching up with Bobbie's blog. It's fabulous.)

So here are the things I've been working on:
-Letting go of my sense of responsibility around the house. Don't get me wrong, I still take care of and clean up after myself, but I am trying REALLY HARD not to get totally irritated with the messes the guys leave around. Just a couple days ago, I discovered that Rob didn't know where the Windex was. We've lived there for a year, and he's been responsible for cleaning the house who knows how many times, and he doesn't know where the Windex is? It's not like we don't have any windows or mirrors. ANYWAY, it's that kind of stuff that I'm talking about. Now that I'm more experienced with living with messy roommates, I'm discovering that meeting them halfway really isn't a far enough journey on my part, and I should be meeting them even closer to their side. It's not fair, no, but if I'm the only one conscious enough to notice a problem, then I'm really the only one that can work to make me happy.

-Diving into the new responsibilities I've been given at work. Because of funding and staffing issues, I ended up taking a different job at my organization along with picking up the slack that comes with being understaffed. I've officially had certain new duties since August 1st, and more just keep coming. It's nice to be so busy, but it's also exhausting when it seems like I'm responsible for everything and can't say no to anything.

-That secret thing from last Wednesday? I have another secret thing this afternoon. Tee hee.

-Fantasizing about business endeavors. Steve's been having issues with both of the music schools he teaches for, and in hearing all of the complications, I'm envisioning a well-run, innovative music school that we could start. It's all mapped out in my head, but the thing is that ultimately, Steve (and his musician friends) doesn't want to teach music. He wants to play music. Be a rock star. Hence the term "fantasizing." (Did you just think of the House Bunny preview here? "Yeah! Hence!")

-Thinking about future trips to take. Coming back from a trip, even a short one, I'm reminded of how important travel is to me, and I think about all of the places I've been hoping to visit. Keeping some short-term travel goals in mind, now more than ever, my desire to take a trip to Boston is in the forefront. Since I was not given permission from work to attend a training there in September, I don't have a plan (just yet) of how and when to go. Also on the list is going home for my friend's wedding in November, and again, of course, for Christmas (this one is definitely happening). Unfortunately, the barriers I face are money and schedule. But these will never go away, so I really just need to figure it all out and enjoy it!


I have a ton more distractions and ideas swimming around in my mind, but for this blogcoming (like homecoming...I guess?) post, that will be all for now.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Snoozefest

My, my, what an uneventful weekend had I! And it was quite nice that way, actually. On Friday, a couple friends were going to come over but didn't because they didn't get enough done in preparation for their weekend trip to Connecticut. Oh well. I stayed home and read and went to bed early because I had to work the next day.

'Tis the season for working on Saturdays.

After work on Saturday, Steve and I went to the mall to get him new shoes (yes!!! I won't even go into detail about how badly he needed them...just know that I am a very happy girl). We then went to get sushi. This place was very organically decorated and the sushi was quite good, but the service in the restaurant made us feel like we were in the Twilight Zone-- and I don't think it was all language issues, though that had a lot to do with it too, I'm sure. Anyway, because of the weirdness of everything, our meal was double what it should have been (in size and, unfortunately, price) and we won't be going out to eat again for a while.

Saturday night, I cleaned the house with Harold and Kumar (and Neil Patrick Harris) in the background. After showering the cleaning products away, I watched Only You (1994 with Marisa Tomei and Robert Downer, Jr.), which was pretty great. I didn't know Billy Zane was funny!

On Sunday, I finally got my car's oil changed (with a free tire rotation!) at Pep Boys because let me tell you something: do NOT get regular service done at your dealership! It would have been at least 4 TIMES more expensive. Ridiculous.

ANYWAY (I do realize that this post is extremely boring. And if it's this boring for me, I can imagine how boring it is for you. My apologies.), this week should be good because I'm working today, tomorrow, and most of Wednesday (leaving early for my secret thing), and then Thursday morning, Steve and I are off to North Carolina for my family reunion! I'm driving there and he's driving back. Eek! It'll be the farthest I've driven all at once!

UPDATE: This week is going to be ridiculously long, despite it being short, because fun coworkers are out during the days I'm in, and I'm getting increasingly impatient to leave for NC!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Lust? Oh yeah.

I thought my dear readers would appreciate some photos from last week's ebay store fashion shoot:

This dress is haute couture....ooh lala:




Yowza:




And I have to add these:

I want them soo badly, I would consider getting rid of the mugs that I'm emotionally attached to to make room for them.