November 30, 2011

Well Hello, Snow!

I am a royal dummy. I was at my parent's house for the Thanksgiving weekend, which was so much fun. However, when I left to return home and to work, I stupidly forgot my coat there.

Not to worry, I thought. The forecast said high forties...I can handle that. Come on, I'm from Michigan, when it gets into the 60s, I'm ready to break out the bathing suit for a little tan!

Guess what? It snowed, and I mean snowed. When I got to work yesterday, I was cursing my lack of a coat, but quickly clicking my heels against the pavement to get into the front doors. When I left, I very slowly tiptoed my way across that same pavement (or should I say ice?!) in a state of constant instability. I'm so grateful that my boss called my office to tell me I could leave early to beat the winter storms that were headed our way, because I have an hour long commute...and I had no idea what was going on outside (I have a beautiful window above my desk-which I can't see out of because it's a sort of opaque stained glass).

All the way home, I fought the slipping, sliding, and fishtailing, but I made it. It was plenty dark by the time dinner was finished cooking, and I suppose I didn't pay much attention to what was going on outside after that. When I woke up at 5:30 this morning to get ready to leave, everything was covered, tree limbs in the yard were down, and the road and driveway were impossible to find. Uh oh.

Again, I got lucky when I opened my email and saw a new message from my boss which said I could work from home today to avoid the road conditions. I gladly accepted and have been ticking away at my to-do list since this morning.

Whew. Lunch break over. Enjoy the snow!!

November 27, 2011

Oh, Black Friday

I am the stereotypical blood-shot-eyed, half asleep, bargain-hunting shopper on Black Friday. I have found some great deals over the years that keep me setting my alarm for the wee morning hours and using coffee as my lifeline throughout the morning full of shopping.

But the madness has to stop.

I refused to go out shopping on Thanksgiving, when many retailers opened their doors. You see, I feel bad enough that the employees of those places have to be ready to deal with the masses at 4 in the morning, but really, why do we need to take them away from their families on a holiday? Come on. In my opinion, if the pampered big-wigs sitting in their plush offices want to make the "lowly commoners" stay up all night, literally risking their lives by unlocking the store doors, and deal with the atrocious attitudes of the Black Friday shoppers, maybe they should come down off their velvet-covered, gold plated memory foam pedestals and join their employees. I can almost guarantee that would cut down on the Thanksgiving day openings.

And let's talk about the person who pulled a knife on another shopper over a towel. A towel. Honestly, who are we, heathens? Towels go on sale all the time. If you're really that desperate for that perfect shade to match your shower curtain, buy a different color at the sale price and go back for an even exchange when they have your color back in stock. What about the pepper spray over video game consoles? Congratulations, you not only made yourself look like a greedy, crazed person, but you have also landed yourself in jail...over a towel or an Xbox.

It's time for some prospective, people. When did getting a deal trump safety? Do you really need that new T.V. or should you think about buying some medicine for your sniffly-nosed child? Is it necessary to have those new video game consoles, or should you buy school supplies?

I understand that the economy is rough. I understand that many people feel like if they didn't buy something on Black Friday, they wouldn't be able to afford it. I suppose what I'm really wanting to say is that if you are really strapped for cash, take a good, hard look at what you actually need versus what you want. What will help you survive and what would be utterly useless in an emergency? Think about it. Enough is enough. It's the holidays, people. Help your fellow man, don't stab him. Do a little good for your community, don't pepper spray them. Prepare a special dish for Christmas dinner, turn off that brand-new LED TV, and talk to your loved ones like you actually care about them.

From the looks of it, though, that's the crazy idea.

Sad, isn't it?

November 21, 2011

Moving Up In The World

Well, gone are the days of endless wonder as to what I want to do with my life...for now. Today, I completed my first day at work on my real, grown-up job, and I loved it. There was so much to take in and lots to be done, but I really think this will turn out to be a great fit for me.

So what is it that I do, exactly? Great question. My title is Volunteer Coordinator, and my job description is essentially to be determined...intimidating, right? This is a brand new position, and all I (and my boss!) really know is that I need to find, recruit, and maintain volunteers for some awesome programs in four counties, and perhaps an additional three. I'll be talking, driving, calling, emailing, and organizing like mad. I'll be writing my own job description as I shape and mold the position into something vital to the organization. Breathe. I must remember to breathe.

At this point, easier said than done.

The good news is that I have volunteered since I can remember. I love it. Volunteering could be a career path for me if it weren't for the fact that I actually need to, you know, survive. I've been that volunteer wiping down nasty food-covered lunch tables and I've been the volunteer passing out prizes or meeting some awesome people. I've volunteered with kids, cancer patients, seniors, kids with disabilities, people with mental illnesses, and poverty-stricken people of all kinds of backgrounds. You name it, I've probably volunteered with it--or know someone who has. Here's to hoping all of that gives me some sort of special insight as to what makes volunteers tick, what tugs at their heartstrings, and what it is that they love.

Oh yeah, and maybe that psychology degree will come in handy. Let me take a  moment to point out how excited I am to actually be able to use my degrees to help people. It always makes me sad when people can't use the degrees they worked so hard and paid so much to get. Boo.

So fingers crossed that I can knock this job out of the park and learn a lot along the way...preferably not the hard way, but life is funny about that sometimes, huh?

November 16, 2011

Movie Review: Immortals

Last night, I saw Immortals, and it was GREAT. Usually, I'm not a huge fan of 300-like movies, don't get me wrong, I'll watch them, but given the choice, I'd most likely pass.

Over the years, I've had my fair share of Greek mythology lessons in school, but unfortunately I don't remember quite enough to attest to the accuracy of this story (sorry, sophomore year English...), but it was certainly entertaining. The gods were impressively dressed in shimmery gold ensembles which highlighted their "good guy" roles. The Titans, the "bad guys," were dark, dirty figures, appropriately hinting to their threatening presence.

The cinematography was incredible, the way the scenes seamlessly transitioned from one to the next was nearly flawless, and definitely creative. Unique camera angles lent the movie an added plus, as they allowed for a different perspective of the story in a way that made me want to look over my shoulder for the enemy lurking in the corner.

I will say there was a lot of blood, so this is definitely not a movie for kids. I'll admit I closed my eyes a few times so I wouldn't have to see the carnage on the screen, so keep that in mind.

On a more superficial note, the 2 hour no-shirt fest provided quite a bit of eye candy for the ladies, though that by no means made the movie as great as it is. I'm more of a story person than a "look, that's my favorite shirtless actor, who cares if he can barely spit out his lines?!" person. But seriously, look at the picture to the right. Yowza.

That aside, I definitely recommend you check out this movie, and if you really, really can't make it to theaters, definitely keep it on your rent-when-it-comes-out list!

November 14, 2011

Long Time, No Blog!

Wow, last week completely got away from me. Things are busy, busy, busy around here as I try to get organized and packed, in addition to getting in extra family and friend time. Whew!

Here's a little more good news: I found an apartment I like, finally, so I can officially discontinue my worries about being a nomad in the dead of winter. At least I know I'll be warm at night!

My apartment searching was certainly an adventure. I had my heart set on one complex that I had found online which was not far from where I will be working. A word to the wise: don't get your heart set on a complex you find online. When I arrived to walk through a model apartment, I was surprised at just how run down the place actually looked. While my mom and I waked through the apartment, we couldn't help but be completely grossed out by the smokey smell (I absolutely cannot stand the smell of smoke) and the full, stinking trash bags that were laying in the hallway. Seriously? Who could live with smelly garbage like that? Yuck. Aside from that was the fact that the apartment definitely did not have all the features the website listed. Boo.

The next one was even dirtier. Not cool. The young man that was showing me the model apartment had his sales pitch down, though, I will say that. Unfortunately for him, I have a psychology degree, so I learned all those tricks, meaning I was not about to fall for them. For example, the "so do you think you can picture yourself cooking a meal in this kitchen?" is a great way to get people thinking that yes, they could and why would they not sign a lease there?! Except that I definitely could not see myself cooking in that kitchen. There was barely enough room to turn around, and counter space was virtually nonexistent, which is very bad for someone like me who prepares food using every spare dish and inch of counter space. Wah, wah, wahhh.

Finally, I went to the third apartment complex. My boyfriend had called after we saw the second one, and I was quite concerned when I talked to him that I would never find the right place, because even the ones we drove by were less than ideal. I had a little mini panic on the phone, thinking I was doomed to live the life of a homeless nomad who wandered from place to place searching for a more permanent residence.

Thankfully, everything worked out and I think I'm going to love this new I just have the overwhelming task of picking furniture to fill it, wish me luck!

November 6, 2011

Grown-Ups Have Boring Christmas Lists...

Have you ever heard the song "Grown Up Christmas List," which is a lovely, inspiring song that a number of different artists have recorded? It's one of my favorites, really.

The song is about a hope for a better world, one without suffering, one with compassion, and one with help for those who need it. It's a song that any peace-loving person would probably play on repeat as the holidays approach. What a nice thought, that especially during the holiday season, the world could enjoy peace, joy, and love. Sigh.

This year, my Christmas list is a little different, but still a grown-up one. Life is changing these days, and fast. I find myself thinking of cleaning products that need buying and cupboards that need cleaning. As I prepare for my big move before I start my new job, I keep thinking of things I need to acquire in order to have any sense of organization in my new place.

So what's on my grown-up Christmas list, which my grandmother nearly begged me to give her yesterday when I went for a visit?

A vacuum. A bright, shiny, quality vacuum. It's actually topping the list. I have been defeated by the Responsibility Gods, who have won the growing-up battle. Other items include a nice spice rack, a mirror/shelf/hook thingy so that I can hang up my coat and keys all in one convenient place next to my door. New sheets would be great, too.

Now that I'm looking at it, my Christmas list is a pretty boring one this year-it's all about practicality. Is this a trend in this economy, or is it just me? What's on your list this year?

November 3, 2011

Bittersweet Beginnings

I have some big news. Well, the word has been spreading quite quickly, so I suppose by now it is entirely possible that everyone knows, but what the heck, I'll announce it here anyway:

I got a job!

A real one. A full-time one. A big kid job.

Great news, right? Of course! It will be so nice to finally be able to stop worrying about finding something permanent, and I'm so very excited to start this one. At the same time, though, it's all very bittersweet. See, everything I'm used to is here. Not two hours away where I'll be moving. The kids I work with every day, though they frustrate and exhaust me to no end sometimes, have endeared themselves to me so quickly, I am already mentally preparing to say my goodbyes. I have no doubt there will be tears, and most definitely a lump in my throat that refuses to allow me to speak in a normal tone of voice. I'm absolutely no good at goodbyes.

Not only that, but my family is all right here. Well, most of my family. How will I ever be able to move away from my little sister? It's definitely not going to be easy. Don't even get me started on leaving my parents, because all through college, I still teared up when I went back to school after a weekend at home. Yeah, it's a little pathetic, but I'll take that over wishing I was someone else's kid any day. Then there are my friends, and of course, Cameron. That will be awful.

At the same time, though, I have a sense of finally coming into my own. No more babysitting (unless I so choose), no more part time job, no more wishing I could just get a bite on my resume. No, now I will be a professional doing professional things, like buying office supplies and chatting with my coworkers about the latest episode of Dancing With The Stars (not that I watch it, but Yahoo! really doesn't let me avoid knowing who got kicked off and why).

So what will I be doing? I will be recruiting and coordinating volunteers for a non-profit. In all reality, it is the perfect job for me. There will be volunteers who work with kids (obviously something I love), some who provide meals for families/seniors in need (awesome), and oh so much more. Everything I've ever done is volunteer, really, so I'm feeling pretty confident that I can knock the proverbial socks off my boss when I start working for her.

I don't start there for a couple of weeks so that I have time to find a place to live (I need to get on that...) and get settled, but keep your fingers crossed and say a little prayer for me! Oh, and you can bet I'll write all about it after my first day!
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