Monday, March 29, 2004

Sunday was a good day. I spent the afternoon volunteering at Operation Sack Lunch as the first project of the new team with SeattleWorks. Met some great people and had a lot of fun. A mellow evening was then spent with friends.

Part of today was great--it was absolutely gorgeous and hot outside today. It felt like we were on the East Coast. Mm.

The rest of the day, not so great. Was awfully sleepy when the stupid alarm went off. Then, in the car, I called AmeriCorps, wherein I was informed that I wouldn't hear a decision until after May 15. So, on with Plan B; ie, continuing with the teaching program. New York, here I come! Good lord.

"Work" was incredibly boring. I braided my hair to distract myself all morning, and then in the afternoon doodled on notepaper (while "reading" the essays). Came home to the enrollment information from NYTF. Realized just how far behind I am already, financially I mean, and how royally screwed I am now and will continue to be if A)I go to New York, and B) can't get a decent temp job and/or second job until then. So I had a breakdown, right in time for the workout tonight. Because I want out of that "job" I'm doing now. Even going back to my old job, or any job, at the mortgage company would be better than this. It SUCKS. And I'm coming to hate seventh-graders. Even more than I already did, based on my own (mildly life-scarring) experiences. I am honestly becoming desperate for money, though, so I'm kind of stuck for now. Shit.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Yesterday was supremely boring. All afternoon, hunched at a computer with no music or distractions, which means I was very distractED. It will be interesting to see how long I will be able to put up with this "job."

Also yesterday, I found out that I was accepted to the NY Teaching Fellowship. I was ACCEPTED! To teach. In New York. Oh my god!! I was completely and utterly flabbergasted; there's no way I expected to get it. Holy cow. If I do this, it's in JUNE. That's two teeny weeny months from now.

I only say "if" because of my pending AmeriCorps application. If I get the NCCC job, then I (am pretty sure that I) will go with that over the teaching. Either would be a huge change and an incredible challenge. Both are unreal. Things like this don't happen to me! I appear to be on the verge of realizing my dreams! Or at least finding a real direction to focus on.

Today I got a bunch of stuff moved out; the apartment is half empty. The couch, table and rocking chair, the bookcase, most of the books, most of the crap in the closet--all gone to be stored in the barn. A box of clothes to be donated, one and a half boxes of books sold. Next Saturday I will complete the move. Wish me luck.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Today was pretty good. Oh, by the way, the big traffic on 167 goes the other way than I do. Woo!
Anyway, so I aced the qualifying scoring tests so far, and in the very long downtime, I did some sketches and writing. Good times. Plus, they let us out at 4 instead of 5. I stopped by my old workplace because Stacey said there were more boxes to be had. I got stopped while I was there, and chatted with a bunch of former colleagues. It was nice to see them again, but weird to be in the office again.

Since I didn't work out on Monday or Tuesday, I did the double workout again tonight. It went very well, considering. I was still all red and worn out, but not nearly to the degree that I was last week. Hurrah!

And now it's almost the weekend. It's been an easy week for me, but who doesn't love a Friday?

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

So Monday was fun. Spent the afternoon playing games and watching tv with friends. Tuesday evening went to a new TeamWorks meeting (at Seattle Works), and then on the spur of the moment called up Dez and we had a nice dinner in Fremont.
Today was the first day of training for this test job. Parts were really boring and I got pretty antsy, doodling like my life depended on it. We'll see how the next two days go.
This evening I saw my brother's band concert and then got some packing done! Half my bookcase into boxes--six of them. I've got a big pile of boxes to go into "storage" in the barn, and this weekend will get them moved over there, along with the furniture. Hm, wonder if I should empty out the dresser as well? Ah, I hate moving.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Well, I'm not in as much despair as last time, but that's only because I have forced those thoughts far down in my mind, so that I can function for the next few weeks.

This morning I began to tackle the moving question. Eliminated some books from my extensive collection, and have finished going through all the boxes that were in my huge closet. I tossed lots of stuff and the rest of it I compiled in neater and smaller boxes. Hurrah.

Among other interesting things, I found a little book I once made, called "My Book, by Julie". Let's read it, shall we?
"'Birds.' To have a bird, you must have the proper equipment. You will/
"need a cage with air lines, a food dish, a water dish, food, water, and the bird.
Fill the food bowl with food and water in the water dish./
"Then set a few treats on the bottom of the cage."

Boy, I was awfully smart. And literal. If I remember correctly, the rest of the pages in this little book were meant to be guides for having other pets, like dogs, cats, or fish. I was entrepreneurial, if a little lacking in follow-through.

Sigh. The day is moving quickly (as it tends to do when one gets up at 11.30), and I'm proud to say that so far I've been productive. I have a large box filled with mostly clothes to give away, and a full box of books to sell (any extra cash is good). However, I'm tired and bored now. The rest of the packing is stuff that I actually use, and will require dismantling of my room or other rooms. I'll acquire some good boxes and then keep moving forward.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

What in the world am I doing?
Oh god. I hate being unsure of what is going to happen to me, this entire "transition period" when my whole life is in limbo. I am now preparing myself to be moved out of my apartment in the next ten days. I'm just now getting the mental, but really soon it's gonna get physical: I have to pack up half a kitchen, an entire bathroom, all my furniture, clothes, books, computer desk, plus all the random crap that I have that just takes up space. I hate moving. Really. Especially when I move home, because I know that I will, hopefully sooner rather than later, just be moving OUT again. I hate moving.

I thought, hoped that all this juvenile stuff was over--that I would be a grownup finally, with a real job, a place to call my own, a reasonable social life. But I've just been playing at it, I'm twenty-four years old and I feel like a teenager. How can I be successful if I don't have any clear idea what I'm trying to do? If I have no money? If I get stuck working temp jobs or have to go back to food service just to pay the bills? Is this whole thing just ridiculous? What the fuck do I think I'm trying to pull off here?

There's so many possibilities, ways things could happen, it's too much to think about. Everything hinges on something else happening or not happening. It's hard to look for jobs if you think you may be leaving the state in as little as two months. Or what if I change my mind, in terms of which option I like? What if I get something that maybe I don't really want? Do I just take it and be grateful? What if I don't get any of the jobs or opportunities that I want? What if there's nothing out there for me at all? What if I do this for the rest of my lame little life? When do I know to give up? How long do I leech off the parental residence? Will I spend the rest of time in a mindless excuse for a job? Should I go back to the mortgage industry, where I like some of my coworkers but end up in tears every once in awhile at the prospect of a normal Monday morning? Why in the world am I doing this? There's no way I can be successful at real life, in the real world.

Welcome to my dark side, friends.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

So. That headache on Thursday? Really kicked my ass. When I got in bed to read, my poor head just throbbed and my very eyeballs hurt. Also, I got some weird nausea. I had to lay down at 10.15, because I could hardly move. Ugh.

Friday, I did almost nothing productive. I was afraid of this, it was the only day this week that I had nothing planned, and I worried (well, predicted) that I would be incredibly lazy and do nothing. Harrumph. I tidied my room a wee bit (got all the clothes off the floor--it's a start), and messed around with my new Print Shop. Watched a Scottish film that Netflix promised would be heartwarming, and was completely the opposite. Only remembered about Bodyflow at 5.30, and for some insane reason, though I still felt completely shit, attended class. It was interesting how every pose and movement was affected by my bodyful of sore muscles. Mm, at least I know I'm using them, I hate when I wither.

My compromise for having nothing on Friday was to volunteer on Saturday. No problem, right? Well. Let me just tell you. I turned off my light at 11.40. At 12.30 I was wide freaking awake. Y'all know me, and you know how I can't STAND when anything gets in the way of sleeping. The worst is when it's just me, my head or whatever, and I can't freaking sleep. Rrr.

So the day today was actually really good. The weather was supremely gorgeous, it was sunny and WARM--like 65 or something. (And it's March, people.) Lovely lovely. The whole day I was involved with mulch. For the morning I switched off with another volunteer, shoveling the mulch into the wheelbarrow, and raking the mulch around the selected area. It was shady, pleasant, not grueling or really difficult. However, the afternoon kicked my ass. We worked in the direct sun, grading some dirt. This required using a tool to loosen the packed earth; I used a pickax. Swinging a pickax isn't too complicated or difficult, but it certainly is tiring. With sore biceps to begin with, whew, what a chore. In a good way, though, like proving to myself I could still have some strength and endurance. Sort of...I kept having to break and rest. Eventually I gave the pickax away and used a rake. Then shoveled a little more, then at the very end of the day I hammered nails out of discarded lumber. All in all a successful day but I was very worn out.
My fingernails and toenails are sensitive to the touch. My legs, from the knees down, ache like nobody's business. I've still got that headache (I'm beginning to think it's the iron pills I just started taking), and my face got a tinge of sunburn. Phew.

Good night, Moon.

Friday, March 19, 2004

So as some of you may know, one of my favorite goofy pastimes is coming up with alternative meanings to acronyms. Here is an actual transcript of an excellent acronym fest (I am the one called Susiejulie). Enjoy!

dmwl1138: What's IFP stand for again? Independant Film Partners?
Serenity7911: independent film project, i believe
dmwl1138: or Patrol
Susiejulie: icky foam police
Susiejulie: igloo frostbite prevention
dmwl1138: Irish Fascist Population
Susiejulie: indecent flocking penguins
dmwl1138: Incense For Phil
dmwl1138: Invalids For Perot
Susiejulie: imagining fetid popsicles
dmwl1138: Incorrigible Fetal Puppies?
Susiejulie: intense fraction properties
dmwl1138: Indians From Pluto
BullTwelf: I'm fucking poor!
BullTwelf: Imbiciles Feeling Pampered
dmwl1138: Idiot French Pioneers
BullTwelf: Idiots fighting politeness
BullTwelf: Italian Friendly Policemen
Susiejulie: italian fire pollution
dmwl1138: Ill Funk Preppies
BullTwelf: Imitating Friends Plurals
Susiejulie: idaho flunking production
Serenity7911: irish fighting porn
BullTwelf: Indonesian Filing Papers
Serenity7911: international f*** police
BullTwelf: Ignomnious Firing Platoon
BullTwelf: illicit frivolous parties
Susiejulie: imaginary floo powder!
dmwl1138: Icky Female Parrot?
BullTwelf: Irritating Flatulence Prevention

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Did everyone have a fun and safe Saint Patrick's Day? If you are looking to imbibe lots of alcohol, do what we did: watched The Boondock Saints (excellent film) and took a drink every time someone said the F-word or there was a cross on the screen. Wow, lots of drinking ensued.

My only thing today was a public meeting about AmeriCorps that wasn't quite interesting. It was too "technical" for little old civilian me; it was talk about grants and how they should be awarded, and to whom, and for how long, etc. I did enjoy hearing from the local community leaders about the impact of AmeriCorps members. There were representatives from a Whatcom County Fisheries place, Starbucks grantmaker, King County government, among others. (Did you know that King County is the 12th largest in the nation? I think that is fascinating and excellent.) People from organizations in Alaska and Montana also spoke, before I decided to leave.

This evening, I challenged myself to two back-to-back workouts. I really worked hard at Bodypump (weight-lifting) on Tuesday, and my poor biceps still hurt, so doing most of the same motions was pretty difficult (especially the squats and of course the bicep work). Then I stayed and did the Bodycombat (kickboxing) workout, which I last did in June 2003. (I'd been doing it regularly and enjoyed it, but June is when my knees went out, so I had to quit everything for the whole summer. That was a bummer. It did get me walking on my lunch breaks, which was wonderful.) Anyway, so I decided to try it out tonight and see if I held up. Well. It went better than I'd thought, sort of. The movements came right back to me, all the punches and kicks. Some of it was still really uncomfortable for one or the other knee. Because I work out but don't do endurance training, my face got bright red and my head hurt. Other than that, it was pretty fun!

Lessons in Being Poor, #1: Making Priorities. I appear to be failing this one. For most of February, I did well on cutting down extra expenses. I bought fewer things at the grocery store, especially the impulse/luxury items. I still went out to bars with people, but I refrained from ordering any drinks (healthy and cheap!). I didn't have the weekly massages at work. But then. I quit my job and I got in my head to spend an entire week in New York City. Ate all kinds of junk food, went shopping (only a tiny bit, hardly bought anything), went out to restaurants and bars. I came home and seem to have been leaking money. I went to Costco the other day and I bought a pair of jeans (Calvin Klein for $19, can you really blame me?), not to mention a fifty-dollar computer program (a new Print Shop with all kinds of goodies, that I'd been eyeing for awhile). Ay carumba, what possessed me? Do note that I haven't ruled out returning the blasted thing, though. Anyway, I'm totally scrimping, carrying a balance on my credit cards (which I only started doing two months ago, but I HATE it), and so I guess that's how I justify buying or spending on occasional unnecessary "fun" things.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Some great lines from the past twenty-four hours:

"SpongeVladimir SquarePutin"
from the Daily Show

"We have ways of making you pronounce your 'o's!"
from Canadian Bacon

"Of course we watched a little Anna Nicole Smith, and that made me want to blow up the world to spare us from our own stupidity"
from Strange Fruit (see links)

My trip to the temp agency went fairly well...I kicked ass on the typing and data entry tests. 66wpm with no errors, and only two errors on the numeric/alphanumerics. Woo, me!

Today I went for an interview, from a thing I found in the paper, and it was one of those things that as you're "interviewing," the person is telling you where to go for training. Not offering a position, but just saying, okay, show up. Those kind of bewilder me, it's never actually said, "here, take the job," because what if I didn't want it? Or was just killing time? Anyway, so I guess I have a job now. It starts next week and only goes for six weeks. It's for a test-scoring center by the SuperMall. Surprisingly, it took only twenty minutes or so to get there from my house, albeit with no serious traffic to speak of. The shift starts at 8 and ends at 4.30, so I may begin griping and whining about traffic all of a sudden.
See? Something always does come along. Phew. Here's to hoping that I can catch up on all my nasty bills.

I went for a walk around my "neighborhood" this afternoon. It was very pleasant, blue-ish skies and crisp but not quite chilly. Now I shall watch a movie and then read or something. Tomorrow I will finish my taxes and file them, and pray that the refund arrives quickly. Look at me being all productive in my days of unemployment.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Home now. Woke up at a very respectable 9.45 (especially considering my flight was a red eye and I went to sleep after 2.00am).

Will head to the temp agency this afternoon. That has just become more urgent for me, because I found out that the paycheck I thought was coming today isn't actually coming at all. I may get a (tiny) bonus at the end of the month, but for now I am stuck. I have money in savings, just enough to scrimp by in April...but now I will have to use some to pay the rest of my March bills. Oh, crap, this is really going to suck. Welcome to Poorville, population Julie.

Please take a few minutes and click over there on "Pass the Fire." They are stories and pictures from former AmeriCorps*NCCC (duh, the program I did in 2002!), and they are wonderful. I read them all last night and it made me feel nostalgic and proud. Also, some of the people pictured were from my campus, so it's fun to see them. For all of you who knew me before and after my experience, perhaps reading these anecdotes can help you understand my own term of service, how really life-changing it was. Okay, I'm done preaching now. :p

Keep me in your thoughts, folks, help the money gods find me!

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Last full day in New York (I leave tomorrow night).

I have visited several museums in the last few days: the Met, the International Center of Photography, and the Museum of the City of New York. I am still sleeping a lot, which is heavenly. Haven't done anything else productive except eat. Mm, food. I haven't had lunch yet.

Am forcing myself to think about the upcoming week, and what on earth I shall do with myself. Shall I stay on vacation for a couple more days, or throw myself right away into that pleasurable pastime known as job hunting? I'll probably sleep in on Monday and then go into the temp agency to get set up with everything. Must update my resume and start scouring the online ads once again. Fun.

I hope my interview went well. I also hope that I know much sooner rather than later how the whole thing turned out. If I didn't get it, I want to turn straightaway to other plans. Whatever they may be, this week.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Hey all, greetings from the Big Apple!

I flew in late Sunday night/early Monday. I stayed up and wandered around...fighting to stay awake. Visited Rockefeller Center and all that jazz. I wanted to ice skate but it was raining and expensive. Also checked out Lincoln Center and the Operas.

Tuesday I slept all freaking day, sort of. I took a lovely, huge nap only an hour after waking up, and finally got up at 2.30. Got ready for my interview and took off, I didn't even get lost finding the site! The interview itself went okay. My group was only seven people, so we got through everything fairly quickly. I was scheduled last on both the teaching lesson and the personal interview. I think they went fine. It's always hard for me to tell, but I don't think more preparation would have made it any better (not like I prepared a whole bunch anyway). I was out of there by 9.00, which wasn't too bad, considering. I had an hour and a half to read in the hallway, which was a nice break.

This morning I took another nap and got up at twelve. My goal today was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I wandered around there for a few hours, got some lunch there (2.25 for a bag of chips!), and got some nice postcards. Found yet another block toy thing to add to my collection...ooh, this will be the first American one, I think.

Not sure what my plans are for the rest of the week, that is to say, I suppose I don't have any. Hmm. I shall keep pretending that I'm going to see a show, perhaps visit a few more museums, hopefully find a place and time to ice skate. Can you believe I've never once been ice skating? Ay, it's true.

Every once in a while I try to speak just seems natural in certain situations, namely being in a big art museum and fighting to get in or out of the subway. Ah, Paris. Er, New York.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Here is another spam excerpt. This one really makes no sense but is pretty entertaining.

2. The duck is used for instrument approach and landing. Because of the fact that any sensible duck will refuse to fly under instrument conditions, it is only necessary to hurl your duck out of the plane and follow it to the ground. There are some limitations to the Cat and Duck Method, but by rigidly adhering to the following checklist, a degree of success will be achieved which will surely startle you, your passengers, and even an occasional tower operator. tone warned him. He spun round. Even as he clapped his hand to his pocket

Tonight I fly out to New York! I really hope I get some sleep on the plane, because the last time I couldn't and thus felt like a zombie the rest of the day. I'm finalizing my lesson plan ideas, and I will start packing for real soon. Oh my goodness, I'm leaving in twelve hours.

Yesterday was pretty productive; I made it to the bank and the post office, I did laundry, cleaned my bathroom, tidied my room, and I watched an excellent SNL with Colin Firth and Norah Jones. I stayed up nice and late in anticipation of tonight, but could not sleep in. Don't be sad, though, because I actually got up and went to a workout. That's a nice way to start a Sunday. I'm hoping to find a studio to do some yoga or other workouts while I'm away, wouldn't that be fun?

Friday, March 05, 2004

I am now officially unemployed! Hurrah!

So my last day was pretty much like the rest of this week. Except my old team got me a cake and a card that screams and some little gifts, and in our Friday general meeting they called me up to accept another card. It was very sweet. Everyone wished me luck and all that other good stuff. I will miss the office folk, they are nice people and fun.

Well. It's the weekend. I need to prepare for my interview and my trip. I've got a list of errands and other tasks for the next two days: pack, do laundry, go to the post office to mail my other application and transcript requests, clean my nasty moldy bathroom, pick up my room, take some naps, watch my Netflix movies, and that's all I can think of right now.

I went bowling last night and it went pretty well. When I went a few weeks ago, my scores were 45, 54, 65 and 84, or something. Pretty pathetic. Last night I scored 98 (my second highest score ever! after 104), 58 and 78. Not bad, for me.

We just watched the tape of The Apprentice from yesterday. Thank god Omarosa's gone! Altogether it's looking like all the women are going to get eliminated, because most of them are at least partly psycho. I hope the Donald isn't actually sexist, though it honestly would not surprise me.

Happy Friday, all!

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Just because I am too lazy to come up with my own "material."

Because spam is so freaking evil and so terribly prevalent, I routinely go through the emails in my bulk folder and hit unsubscribe to all of them that I can. (It does reduce the number of spam emails, for a few weeks, when it starts increasing again.) Have you ever noticed that some spam includes a paragraph of weird words? I assume that they are trying to wiggle under the 'spam keyword' radar. Here is the paragraph from a spam email touting some Viagra knockoff:

bellyfull soak complaisant contagious r befog chalkboard deuteron
orthophosphate stanley cyprus whack montevideo cramer

Are all of those even real words?

Anyway. One more day of work. I am bored and I want some fudge brownies. Nyeh.

And yeah, what she says.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Two days left.

Today was a short work day for me, because I went to the doctor for a complete physical this morning. That's not an activity I would classify as "fun," but it really wasn't too bad. Although they tell you to fast for the morning, and then they draw blood. Does that seem silly to anyone else? Wouldn't everyone pass out or at least feel pretty damn woozy? Anyway.

The rest of my work day felt like, 'let's find something to do, lalala....' Not like there weren't tons of things to do, but to be at the point where I'm rooting around for a task, it feels kind of pathetic. I guess I was getting used to being beyond busy. I feel like a temp again. A knowledgeable temp who knows what to do, but still, a temp. I have become invisible; I'm being phased out while I'm still there. It's a little depressing.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Woo!! But wait, I will get to that in a bit.

I walked into work this morning (the last week!!) and found that I was being moved to the front desk until Friday. I felt kind of insulted, like I was being demoted and punished for daring to leave. But I reminded myself to be reasonable (I just wrote "reasonal" and it took a few seconds to click that it wasn't right, ha) and logical; it doesn't make sense to get me involved with files to fund and such. Things have come full circle--I will end my mortgage career in the same way it began. It was disappointing to leave the team that I've been with (in various incarnations) since last May, but the front desk isn't too bad. It's a lot calmer in one sense, and a lot crazier in another. It's just different. Anyway, today sped by like a monkey (hee), for which I was grateful. I went for a wonderful walk at lunch and that was quite nice, it was pleasant outside and I felt pretty good.

Checking email after I got home, I had a message that I was granted an interview in New York City, for the teaching fellowship, and the email urged me to get it done in the next three weeks. Woo!! So as not to be too rash, I went to the workout, which felt great, and then came home and bought my ticket. I leave this upcoming Sunday, late at night, and will return the next Sunday, also late at night.

So now I am all giddy and high. I get a week to lounge about New York, visit people I don't see often, and just relax. Then I shall come back and find a job, even a silly temporary one. There are options for me for the next few months, I must be calm and let them come to me. Ommm.

Woo! Four days left of work, a weekend to have fun and then another vacation. Whee!