Archive | December, 2012

A Year In Review

31 Dec

2012. How on earth did it go by so quicky?

It was a strange, yet really great year for me. Strange because I was unemployed more months out of the year than I was employed. Yikes. Let’s not let that happen again, eh? So for as much complaining as I do about work, one resolution is to remember to be ever so grateful to have this job. Seriously, I am ever so grateful for it.

Some highlights of my year:

January 2012. At my friends Karla and Krystal’s apartment ringing in the new year with some of the best friends a girl could ask for.

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Minorly obsessed with a certain guy who I thought was pretty dang great. He wasn’t. Turns out after some serious Googling (turns out I am a master Googler) this Grade A asshole was married with a preganant wife. I didn’t blog too much about it at the time because it hurt a lot. Lots of tears. But in the words of Ms. Clarkson, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Right? Let’s hope so.

Started a new job as receptionist administrative assistant reader of blogs at a semi truck dealership. It basically sucked.

Oh, and I also started this little thing called grad school.

February. After only about 2 months at the dealership, my position was eliminated. Thus began my foray into the world of extended unemployment.

After some convincing and maybe a glass of wine, I joined the oh-so-scary world of online dating. This, mind you, was something I never thought I would “stoop” to, but I went out a lot. And when you’ve got more than enough free time, leaving one’s apartment is a very good thing.

March. A lovely visit from Ali! Had a blast spending time with her over St. Patrick’s Day. This is probably the most notable thing that happened in March. Kind of a boring month otherwise.

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April. On a random Sunday morning I headed out for brunch to meet this guy from match. This was one of the best days of 2012 because it’s the day I met one of the best guy I’ve ever dated. So it was a pretty good day. And my skepticism of online dating softened.

May.

Good month. Got to hang out with this little cutie up north. We even dived into a northern MN lake together. She’s a brave soul, and I hope that a little cold water continues to not phase her.

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Got to see my younger sister graduate high school. Can’t believe she’s in college now. On the same wing and floor of my old dorm at Simpson too!

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As usual, any time my sister and are around each other we start to act like actual crazy people. Exhibit A.

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Had tickets to The Cranberries, but alas, the show was cancelled after the opener played. So lame. My 1996 self is still upset about this.

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June. Visit from my great friend Laura before she moved to this far away placed called New Jersey. I miss her. Trip out east soon? Yes, please!

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Got to see this girl again as she was in town for her aunt’s bachelorette party. Seriously, Ali. How was this 6 months ago?? Here we are in (can’t remember the name of the bar…) Nordeast enjoying the pinkie and the greenie.

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July. Got to celebrate the birth of our country and the birth of my boyfriend. Should have known this one was special when I went mini golfing on a scorching hot day. Seriously. That defines my personal hell.

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On 4th of July we headed to the Stone Arch Bridge in downtown Minneapolis for some lovely fireworks. Not onlt did we get fireworks, but we got to see an underwear bike ride and were given an ungodly amount of gummy bears. (Is there such a thing?)

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I also ran The Color Run. Super fun even if it was a ga-gillion degrees outside.

August. Still unemployed. Went to a 10 year high school reunion. Not mine. It was fun even if I didn’t lie about my identity to strangers (which was my intention going into it.)

Took a day trip to Lake Pepin where we consumed our weight in blueberries. Saw the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum (super disappointing…I know, shocking, right?) and meandered around a very quaint town.

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September. Went camping at Blue Mounds State Park in southwest Minnesota. Had a great time. Like, a really, really great time. Probably has something to do with the guy I was with.

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October. Started my new job. Oh, happy day! No longer among the ranks of the unemployed and downtrodden! Also did this for the pet costume contest in my apartment building. Crazy…adorable, right? Crazy adorable. I lost to a dog in a store bought costume. Oh, the injustice!

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November. Second time running the Living History Farm seven mile race. So fun. So out of shape. Hope to do better next year!

And then! Saw Ali in Colorado for Thanksgiving. Second year in a row we’ve doen the makeshift Thanksgiving. I had a blast visiting her. She lives in a beautiful place which makes me jealous and stuff like that.

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In a random happenstance, I was even able to see my best friend from high school, Ryan. See above photo as evidence that some things never change.

December. My 27th birthday. Christmas. Time with my boyfriend. And family. All good things. Here’s to a fantastic New Year’s Eve and even better 2013!

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Work and life. And other people’s relationships.

14 Dec

Let me preface with the fact that the following post is going to make me sound kind of like a bad person. I can’t seem to help myself. I’ve had my job for a few months now, and though so grateful to have a job, (remember my extended unemployment?) I already can’t wait to transition into the next phase of my career. The phase when I’m not an intern, not unemployed, not a student, not working for a corporation which gives me very little fulfillment. When I can work for a company that drives me to work towards something I am proud of. And to work with people who share my passion, goals, and values.

Big confession: When I interviewed for my current position I basically lied about what I am studying in grad school. I said I am a part-time graduate student studying management. I just left out the arts and cultural part of the management component. I confess this here because there is no way anyone I work with will read this. What I learned when applying for so many jobs is that Corporate America is not at all interested in hiring someone who is studying Arts and Cultural Management. I couldn’t get a job in the arts. SoI lied. And I got the job. I’m not proud of it, but I needed a job, and that is what I needed to do to get one. That being said, my life is very compartmentalized at the moment. I have work M-F 8-5 who think I am a quiet (maybe very dull) girl studying management. I have my classmates who I am sure cannot fathom why I would wear dress pants and heels everyday in Edina. And then I have my family, friends, and boyfriend who get to hear it all.

To be able to mesh my schoolwork and actual work sounds just lovely. I can’t wait to let my guard down and just be me when I am at a job. Given, theatre folk aren’t perfect. There are many issues and frustrations that come with working in theatre. This I know. But I also know that people who work in theatre have a profound passion for what they do. There is nothing like theatre to get people working together for a common goal. We can really know each other because we are so much alike.

Now in my job presently, this is really not the case. I am not like anyone I work with, though many in the office would categorize me along with “the girls.” In my office, there are the boys and there are the girls. There is such a transparent divide between the sexes in my office, it kind of makes me nauseous. The boys have offices, do lunches on the corporate card, and travel to Florida for golf trips…all a part of “the business” you know. The girls have cubicles, do the bulk of the actual work, and live to throw office potluck parties. The boys love the  gender divide and to generalize the girls as personality-less, boring, moms who love a good casserole. And to be honest, most of the “girls” gladly accept that as their label. I refuse (REFUSE!) to be a part of it.

I think one of the reasons the women in my office so easily accept the patronizing and condescending attitudes by the men in my office is because I think they get that from the men in their personal lives. Take my direct supervisor for instance. The way she talks about her fiancé often leaves me with my mouth gaping open in disbelief. Here are the tidbits I’ve picked up on in the course of 3 months:

  • She has been with her fiancé for 10 years. She has been engaged for 9 and a half years. She has a 9 year old daughter. You do the math. The fact that this douchemonkey she calls a fiancé will father her child and string her along for the better part of a decade makes me sick. And sad. But mostly sick.
  • The fiancé feels that if she takes a day off work, then HE should get a day off work. She gets paid. He doesn’t.
  • She made more money as a bartender than in her current job, but (in her words), “My fiancé wanted me to get a ‘real’ job, so I got a ‘real’ job.”
  • “We have a couch and a love-seat in our living room. Ryan always gets the couch and my daughter and I share the love-seat. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable, but I guess that’s just how it is.”
  • “I wish Ryan wouldn’t track mud and snow into the kitchen after I just cleaned it, but what can you do?”
  • After finding out a family friend died at the same time her own mother is in the hospital, “How am I ever going to get it all done?” Heaven forbid she asks the man she is supposedly going to marry for a little help with house cleaning and Christmas errands.
  • She said once Ryan would never understand if she started painting again because he wouldn’t understand the point.

I know there is more she has mentioned. I’m just having a hard time remembering them all right now. I pity this woman so much. She always looks run down because she has to do it all on her own. I also don’t think she’s in love with her job either. She said once, “I loved art in high school. But then I grew up and knew I couldn’t do it anymore.” I just wanted to scream, “No!!!  NO!!!” to her over and over again. I want to tell her that she CAN paint again. She can love art again. Being an adult doesn’t mean sacrificing your passion for a paycheck.

And while I want to tell her that , I internally remind myself of it too.

I actually am going to submit an application for a job I would LOVE (in the arts). And though I am trying to be realistic about my chances at getting it, I also know that I can’t give up. I have to keep up with school. I have to keep trying for what makes me happy. I see my supervisor as someone to be pitied because, to me,  she has given up on being with a man she deserves and  seems to have given up on herself as a person.

I know this post makes me sound ungrateful and judgmental. That wasn’t (entirely) my intention. I think it’s more for me about knowing when not to settle. To know when you’re being taken advantage of, to know what you want and never give up on that.

 

DIY Christmas Present Bow

8 Dec

My family has a lot of Christmas traditions. We stick with just the 5 of us in my immediate family. Since neither my brother nor I have our own families, we can totally be on the downhill slope to 30 and still be kids at home. Totally works out. We always have a delicious and HUGE breakfast before anything else. We read from the Bible before we open presents. We start presents slowly…one person starts, everyone watches, comments on the thoughtfulness of the gift (because we are a good gift giving kind of family). Soon enough, this transitions to people opening at their own pace and people commenting as we go along. Because if it continued as we started, present opening would take a very long time. Stockings go AFTER the main presents are opened. My whole family agrees this is the way to do it. As my sister once said, “Stockings are like dessert after the meal.”

One aspect of what makes Christmas really special at my parents’ house is that, without fail, my mother will beautifully wrap the gifts. She recently gave me instructions on a DIY present bow. She learned this while working at a small shop in her hometown. Store bought bows are a rarity in my house, but the end results are always good.

This kind of bow really works out because all you need is a scrap of extra wrapping paper, scissors, and tape.

I’ll apologize now for the poor quality of the pictures. It’s hard to demonstrate something and also take a picture of it yourself. 🙂

STEP ONE:

I always have extra scraps of paper when wrapping. Depending on the size of bow you want, the size of your paper scrap can vary. This is the size I used for a medium sized bow.

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STEP TWO:

Fold the scrap in half. Then cut strips in the paper, but don’t cut all the way through. Cut on the side opposite the fold crease.

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STEP THREE:

This is a bad picture, but next you’ll want to take the uncut end (where my thumb is in the above picture) and fold it into a circle. At this point, I found it was easier to tape the end together after it’s formed.

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STEP FOUR: 

There should still be loops in your bow. Next you’ll cut the loops in the middle, forming two strips out of one loop. Like such.

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STEP FIVE:

Now take the scissors and curl the strips like you would some curling ribbon. Obviously you’ll want the blade on the other side of the paper, so that the pretty section shows when curled. This part can be tricky. You need to be firm enough to curl, but not so firm as to rip the paper. I found it also helps to use better quality (thicker) wrapping paper with this. When it’s done, simply attached to the present with tape. Voila! A cute bow and a way to get rid of those extra wrapping paper scraps.

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Sorry.

7 Dec

I am a BAD blogger.

Post SOOOON. I swear, little blog followers, I swear!

Like tomorrow. Cross my heart.im-sorry-i-love-you-thumb