Friday, December 3, 2010


So December is here already... and I feel like I should get into the festive spirit...but that's hard to do when you have no source of income.

Let's face it, this holiday is ALL ABOUT SPENDING MONEY. How do you celebrate it without spending money? I mean, I'm trying, but some spending is inevitable. I am making most Christmas presents this year and maybe even some home decorations, but we didn't really decorate for Christmas last we have nothing. The fact that we want to get a tree this year means we need all sorts of paraphernalia for that. At least we have stockings. At least.

So what have I been doing with myself since NaNoWriMo finished and I have been out of work? Well, I usually make at least one visit to where CJ, Ariana and everyone else I know works. Yeah, I'm that obnoxious person who drives down productivity. My bad. I have also knit one scarf, studies for the GREs, applied for several jobs, continued the process of applying to grad school by asking old professors to write recommendations (got one yes, another I know is a yes), started working on my group gifts and watched copious amounts of TV on my computer. Yep, it's been a productive week.

Today, I have an interview at Panera. I am excited simply because this is the first interview I've gotten and it gives me hope that I won't be jobless for too much longer. On the other hand, I can't help but feel that it's ridiculous to get excited about a job interview at Panera. I mean, I like their food and all, but it is in the food service industry. Like, seriously? I have a freaking degree! Come on, I have to be able to do better than food service! And I am, going to the interview.

What choice do I have? No one else has called for an interview yet. The problem is that I really enjoy working outdoors. I've done it several times now, and while it's exhausting, it's far less likely to bore me. The problem is that this is not the season for outdoor work. What else do I have the experience for? Retail. Ugh.

It doesn't help that all, ALL of my friends have decent jobs now. None of them are in retail. They all make $12+ an hour in potential career jobs. Most of them don't even have degrees. So by comparison, I feel pretty damn lame. I know that I can't hold myself to others as comparison, but I always have....and until now I've felt pretty ok with it all.

Time to get back to studying for the GREs so that I can go to grad school and get a Masters degree and then get a REAL job! Woo!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NaNoWriMo Completed!

I did it! I wrote 50,000 words in 30 days! Actually, I wrote a whole lot more than 50,000 words during the month considering how much crap I post on facebook and the like...but I wrote a novel that is just barely over 50,000 words. So now I am an author. Not a published one, but who cares? I did it! Considering that just three days ago, I still had 12,00o words to write, I am pretty damn impressed with myself. I mean, I wrote about 7000 words today...and all before 2:15pm.

It helps that I no longer have a job. Yes, I am currently unemployed and have been for a whole week, as of tomorrow. What am I doing with myself? Well...spending entirely too much money and having a great time.

The last part of the season on the boat was pretty rough, so I am glad to be taking some time off....though, unless I find the perfect job, I will probably be going back to work on the boat next season. I mean, it's about as close to perfect as I can get right now.

So now that NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, come on, keep up with me here) is over, I've got the GRE's to study for and Christmas presents to make. I am in the process of applying for Graduate School at the University of Maryland and hoping to enroll this fall in their Marine Estuarine Environmental Science program. It sounds like a great program and I think that it's exactly what I need. Plus, it involved research in the Chesapeake Bay, which is one of the reasons I let myself be convinced to move here. As an environmental/marine scientist with an interest in ecology, the interaction of mankind and the largest estuary in North America holds great interest for me. So I might as well study it while I'm here.

Anyway, work is over and I am enjoying my leisure time...which I am going to get back to because I am more than a little burned out on writing at the moment...

Time to start a knitting project and watch some tv on my computer! Woo Firefly!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


And so November begins. Here, I should be writing my novel, but instead, I am updating you. That's love. Or maybe narcissism, to think that you actually care. Either way, here I am!

I am participating in NaNoWriMo this year. For those of you not in the know, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. Yes, that's right, I'm writing a novel. 50,000 words must be written in the month of November, in order to be a successful NaNoWriMo-er.

I am excited, as I have already written just over 4000 words in two whole days. Granted, I've been off work during the entirety of NaNoWriMo thus far, so maybe I'm a little too optimistic.

I think my major failing will be finding the subject matter for 50,000 words. I've got a story, with characters and plot and a general idea of where I want them to end up...but can I make it 50,000 words long? That's the million dollar question. What is the longest I have ever written?? Around 20 pages, and that was a research paper, that took a whole lot longer than a single month to write. But fiction is far easier to write about than the atom bomb, so whatever.

On Sunday, Ariana, CJ, Mike, Chris and I went out for our pretentious author photo session. We got some gems, all of which are viewable on Facebook. The photo here, is the one I have chosen. For now.

Anyway, don't expect much from me this month, unless I am really struggling with my novel and feel the need to get my word on with blogspot instead. I hope that doesn't happen...

Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


My days at Living Classrooms are coming to a close and all I can think about is how nice it will be to have a break.

Basically, since I have been promoted, I have been doing all the extra stuff that goes along with my new position, as well as all the stuff that went along with my old position. This is because, when you spend all day on a boat, teaching kids, your primary concern for the new hires, is getting comfortable with the sailing and the teaching. There's all kinds of other stuff that goes on behind the scenes, and I have been the only one taking care of all that for over a month now. It's frustrating because the first person to take my old position quit unexpectedly and now we are training someone new, so I continue to do all the behind the scenes work. Let's just say, I'm over it.

On Tuesday, some kid decided to smash the passenger side window of my car. Nothing was stolen, thankfully, but trying to get it fixed has turned into a nightmare. I haven't had any free time to deal with it, and the people I had scheduled to come fix it today, didn't show up on time, so no one was actually here when they did finally show up. I'm sorry, but I have a job and so does my fiance. We don't get time off to deal with this crap. Show up on time, if you want to get paid.

So now I have to wait until Saturday to get the window fixed, because all the auto glass places are only open 8-5 weekdays, which, HEY, big surprise, is when I work. I will also be paying more, because it turns out, the jerks who can't show up on time, are also the cheapest. And I won't be using THEIR services, since it's clear they don't want my money.

It would be nice if I had the kind of job where I could take a day off to deal with personal stuff, like getting this window fixed and figuring out what the heck I am going to do about parking now, since I will no longer park on Eden Street. Some kid in a blue sweatshirt, is riding around on his bike, waiting to smash more of my windows there. When I filed the police report, a man who worked across the street came over to tell me that he saw the kid and called the police and they didn't do anything about it. The police officer, who was quite kind to me, wasn't too pleased about this guy, but whatever.

It's clear the Baltimore City police department have bigger fish to fry than some kid who smashes windows. I mean, with one of the highest murder rates in the country, window smashing isn't a top priority. But it sucks that this guy works in the neighborhood, tries to do the right thing and calls the police, and gets the brush off. Apparently this kid smashes windows on a regular basis.

I'm almost tempted to spend one of my coveted days off, having a stake-out and waiting for the little bastard. I'd beat the crap out of him and steal his bike and sell it to pay for my window.

But it's also possible, that I'd get knifed and the Baltimore City murder rate would increase and I'd be one of the few 'white' murders in the city. But you know, thoughts of revenge at least make me feel better...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Oregon Trip

The leftovers from an art project that occurred at Rachael's bachelorette party. Our Oregon trip was crazy and fun, but I wish I could have spent more time there. I miss everyone, though few people that I care about are left in Corvallis. It's sad to have moved on....though I expect to move back to Oregon in a few years. Maybe Newport, maybe Portland, I'm not really sure. I suppose it's wherever I can find work.

The last few weeks have been pretty crazy. I got promoted at work because Tanja quit to go work for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. It was an awesome opportunity for her, and I got a raise, so I had no problem with her leaving. The girl who replaced her just quit and now we've got another person we're training, so it's been a little stressful. I'm sure me taking a week off to spend in Oregon wasn't super awesome for my co-workers, but I had that trip planned months before all the new staff problems went down, so oh well.

Going to Oregon really made me want to get my shit together. Being bored makes me far less unproductive than when I am crazy busy. That's why I stayed so busy in high school and college. It meant I got stuff done. Now that I have too much free time, I hardly do anything, other than work. Sometimes I forget to pay bills, I'm not making any art, etc. It's super lame and it needs to change.

Now that the weather has started cooling off, it's time to work out more. It's not so hot that I can't stand being outside when I don't have to be. So I am trying to make a commitment to working out more, therefore hopefully spending some of that free time that I have. The girls of my group, including myself, have expressed an interest in taking a belly dancing class. I am hoping that we can start that sometime after Fest is over. I do love Fest. The Maryland Renaissance Festival is basically a chance for me to be social. Since I've stopped playing D & D with the group, I hardly ever see everyone all together. Fest changes all of that. I see them all weekend and I LOVE it! I miss big social groups. I think that's the hardest part of not being in college anymore.

I am starting to get anxious about going back to school. I talked to Ben about getting my foot in the door for the MEES program through the University of Maryland system. It's Marine Estuarine Environmental Science and it's an interdisciplinary program for graduate studies. I'm excited about it, but the first couple steps are getting in touch with faculty who work in the program and taking my GRE's. I have started studying again and I hoping to take the test around the 29th of November.

The 29th of November will also find my unemployed, unless I find something interesting and start there right after my job at Living Classrooms ends. We'll see how that goes. sum up: I am trying to work out more, going to start taking belly dancing again, try to find another job, take the GRE's and start working on getting in to grad school.

Whew. It's kind of exhausting just to think about it all.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

External Harddrive failure.

Yes, it's true. Ariana and I set up a date for our hard drives to meet....and now they won't work anymore. Apparently they didn't get along very well...or maybe they got along too well and they spread some external diseases. I'm not really sure. Now I get to call the manufacturer and see what I can do about it.

In other news, I am getting ready to leave on my 9 day CTY trip. Basically, CTY stands for Center for Talented Youth. It's a summer program for middle and high school students who have amazing test scores, to go out and do some really cool stuff during their summer. Basically, these kids have been described as the ones who "you have to take the textbooks away from them at night so the actually go to sleep and stop studying". They are the type of kids who "talk about genetics at lunchtime, when they're not in class". I have been warned that there will be nerd-offs to determine the dominate nerd. I AM SO EXCITED!

This trip actually starts on my 25th birthday (sad day!) and goes for 9 days. Basically, I'll be out of town for a long time. I will have my phone on me, so I won't be completely MIA, but I will only be able to use it at certain times, so my accessibility will decrease greatly. It's going to be hard for me, being the iPhone-using, ever-connected person that I am. I will make it through though, with the help of 12 nerdy kids, some awesome co-workers and some yummy blue crabs which I will catch and eat.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Europe Memories!

Pamplona 01
Originally uploaded by kristen.lycett
So I bought an external hard drive around Christmas time and I finally, FINALLY took it over to Ariana's to get a bunch of stuff from her. This included tv shows, but more importantly, pictures.

I finally got my act together and had some of my Europe photos printed for the purpose of scrapbooking. After getting them printed, I realized there were certain parts of the trips that I did not have photos of. This is where Ariana comes in. Her camera was waterproof and drop-proof, while mine was not. So she has pictures from parts of the trip that I do not. Plus, she's a bit photo-happy. And she knows it. Hey, it's a good thing when it comes to keeping memories alive!

So, I got her Europe photos, and I was going through them, looking to fill in the gaps of my own photos, for scrapbooking. Checking out the photos though, I had such fond memories resurface.

Seriously, that trip made me grow so much as a person. For those 6 weeks, I was homeless, a drifter and a traveler. It was awesome and terrifying and completely bohemian. As hard as it was to be so disconnected from everything I was comfortable with, it was a fabulous trip that I will never forget. What's funny though, is that I spent a lot of time communicating with people back home. But I don't regret any of that time, or think that it was wasted. Keeping in touch with the people I love is important to me, even if it cuts in to sightseeing time.

Looking back at these pictures makes me what to travel again. I feel like I have more things holding me back now though, what with being engaged and all. I'm sure I could bring CJ with me, but traveling with Ariana was fun. It was nice to reconnect with her so much, after living on opposite sides of the country for so long....even if we did drive each other crazy after awhile.

Anywho, I thought I would share a picture with you all, so that you too could share in the memories. This is a photo of Ariana and I in Pamplona for the final night of the Running of the Bulls. We are busy getting trashed on sangria, which Ariana still refuses to drink, even after almost 2 years.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Photo Hosting.

So why is it, now that I have signed up for like 2 other photo hosting sites, that the photos in the other blog work? I did nothing to them, yet suddenly, they work. Ugh.

Flickr seems like the sharing will be easier, because I can go directly from posting a picture, to putting it into a blog, but I am unsure as to how to put multiple pictures into the SAME blog post. Hrrrrm. Confusing, it is.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Photobucket sucks.

So, after resizing and editing all the photos I wanted to post in the last blog, photobucket doesn't bother to register the changes. I have tried messing with it, but still no luck. I am done with photobucket now. It's time to find a new site. It's a big enough pain to upload and resize everything, but to have to do it over and over and not have it work is ridiculous. I'm done.

Finally, an update!

Life has been crazy busy! Working for Living Classrooms has been really fun, but a lot of work! I worked for two weeks straight, once our overnight trips started. This weekend was the first time I've had more than a single day off in a week.


Me aboard the Sigsbee!

The Sigsbee is an historic skipjack built in 1901 and originally used for oyster dredging. She worked for about 90 years, until she sank in 1991 and was eventually rebuilt by Living Classrooms. Some pieces of her are original, including the wheel.


There are several other boats in the educational fleet, including the Lady Maryland.


The Lady Maryland as seen from the stern of the Sigsbee.

Mostly, we do day trips from about 9 to 2, with some time before and after trips being devoted to getting the boat ready and put away, as well as cleaning and polishing. When I started the job, we spent two weeks doing training, which included lectures from various people involved with Chesapeake Bay restoration and management, a visit to Fort McHenry, and lots of time on the boats learning how to sail.


My coworkers at Fort McHenry.


Some canons at Fort McHenry, and in the background, the Patapsco River, which we sail on. Since we sail by Fort McHenry, it was good to get some background on it. Often, we'll devote some time to telling the kids about the history of the fort and it's connection to the writing of the Star Spangled Banner. It's weird to know all this Baltimore history now. I hate US history, but I can tell you allllll about Fort McHenry.

Another thing we talk about, are all the different boats in the Harbor.


This is one of the Baltimore City fleet. It's a trash boat and has a conveyor belt in the front to pick up trash out of the water.

Another boat we might talk about is the USS Constellation, the last all sail ship built by the navy. She's now docked in Inner Harbor and is a museum that is managed by Living Classrooms. If one of our trips gets rained out, we can always take the kids there. She's got several decks, and it's pretty cool to check out.


The USS Constellation from the bow of the Sigsbee. This was as the Constellation was being towed from the pier so that she could turn around.

Sometimes, we do overnight trips. We've done some girl scout trips and a John Hopkins CTY trip to Camp Whippoorwill, which is a girl scout camp on the Magothy River, to the south of Baltimore. We also did an overnight trip to Annapolis and we docked in the Annapolis Harbor.


Me posing with a sculpture in downtown Annapolis.


My co-worker Tanja, posing with the other half of the sculpture.

So, that's my work update. As far as my social life is concerned, very little goes on in that front as I spend most of my time working. CJ's birthday was the 13th of May, so I got him a BBQ and had a surprise party for him.


It's a weber. Nothing fancy, but they make yummy food, so who cares?

BBQ's are our new social event. I love summer and I love grilled meat. I am so excited that the weather is nice, but sometimes it's a bit too hot. At work, there's no escaping the heat or the sun, so it's a little brutal. CJ finally got a car though, so I don't have to ride the bus home anymore. I am very excited about that, since the last time I rode the bus home, on Friday, I watched a woman get hit by a car. It was slightly traumatic and I am glad that I won't have to sit at bus stops anymore, watching stuff like that happen.

I am working on planning my trip to Oregon for Rachael's wedding. I will be there from the 13th to the 19th ish. I just need to figure out whether I want to fly into Portland or Medford.

I think that's the end of my updating now. I will try to be better about blogging, but with the summer season impending, we'll see how that goes. Summer trips are anywhere from 5 to 9 days long, so it's going to be a little crazy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New job!

So I have a WHOLE LOT OF STUFF to tell you about my new job. But it will have to wait. Basically, I have been getting up at 6:30 am to get to my new job...and it sucks. The job is awesome, but getting up that early, when it's still dark outside, is not.

But yeah, so much exciting stuff to talk about, but I am going to bed now. Eventually, I will post all about the new job. But not right now. Or tomorrow. Or Saturday. Or Sunday.

I'm busy! Sheesh.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

So much!

I feel like a lot of stuff has been happening lately, but I think it's more that the ball is rolling on change, not that change is actually happening yet.

I only have two more shifts at Borders, which I am very excited about. I work Sunday and Wednesday and that is it there.

Friday, March 12th, is my first day at Living Classrooms. I'm not sure what the schedule is going to look like, but I am very happy to be stepping away from retail. Granted, I'll be keeping my job at Teavana for now, but I'll only be there one to two days a week while we are doing spring training.

Once summertime hits, I should be pretty busy with Living Classrooms. We'll be going on 9 day trips, as well as the normal day trips.

I don't have much in the way of pictures to post. I haven't been able to find the cord for my camera, so I have mostly just been using my iPhone. It takes good pictures if there is enough light, but the rest of the time, they are quite blurry and grainy. Apparently Apple needs to come out with an iPhone Flash!

Last Friday was Chris Jordan's Birthday party. He turned 25 on Thursday, so we went out to celebrate on Friday. We started the night at Applebee's drinking random shots and sangria, then headed back to Chris' for copious amounts of alcohol. To celebrate the fact that he is a butcher, I made special cupcakes, just for him. Sorry my picture's not so great. Like I said, the iPhone is not so great in anything other than bright light.


I made chocolate stout cupcakes, with cream cheese frosting and little fondant cuts of meat on top! He LOVED them, so I was quite happy.

The next step will be a true fondant cake, instead of cupcakes. I'll be doing one for Ariana's birthday, which is in a couple of weeks. I already have the design picked out, and I think she'll love it. I will try to have better pictures of it!

Saturday night, after I got off work, CJ went to hang out with his buddies, and I joined Ariana, Heather, Mary and a bunch of Ariana's VetCentric co-workers for a Madonna vs. Prince vs. Michael Jackson DANCE OFF at the ottobar in Baltimore. It was a lot of fun to actually go out clubbing in the city. I feel sort of lame for living so close to a major city and not taking advantage of it! I didn't stay super late Saturday, since we partied Friday night and I had to open Saturday, and again on Sunday, but it was still fun to get my dance on with a big group of people I sort of knew (as opposed to total strangers).


Once again, sorry for the crappy picture. I didn't take this one though, obviously. Rob took it, so blame him for the blurriness. There may have been drinking involved though.

In other news: BETH IS HERE!


Beth was my co-worker from this summer. We spent many an early morning together, freezing our butts off, counting barnacles. She's living in Laurel, MD for the next few months for a US Fish and Wildlife internship. I'm super excited to have her here. Last week, we went to Baltimore and wandered around Inner Harbor, Fells Point, and then went to Security Square Mall. It was definitely an adventure.

The mall was super ghetto, but we shopped at Old Navy, where we tried on sunglasses(hence the picture), and I bought a $3 pair for being out on the boat. I also found a $5 McDonald's giftcard on the ground. We also went to the Asian market that was in the mall. Yes, an Asian market in the's a weird place. I bought durian flavored popsicles, which taste like Emmenthaler cheese. When we left, they gave me a 200 count package of napkins to thank me for my patronage. All in all, full of LOLS.

Tonight, I am going to a tapas place in Baltimore with Chris. He mentioned something about cupcakes and cocktails, which sounds like a FANTASTIC combination. I told Heather that, if it's awesome, we might need to make a weekly thing of it.

Here's 'til next time, bloggers!

Book reviews

Here's what I have read lately:

The River King's Road


Reminiscent of George RR Martin's series "A Song of Ice and Fire", this book brings to life a myriad of realistic, like-able characters in a medieval, war-torn setting. This books depends a little more heavily on magic than Martin's series, but does so without making light of the character's struggles, or making the story less interesting. The creation of the setting and history of the realm is well done, and makes me want to read more about it, and the characters introduced in the book.

Born Under a Million Shadows


Born Under A Million Shadows was a well written, and interesting account of war-torn Afghanistan. Using the narrative voice of a young boy made the story accessible to a wide audience, and gives an uncomplicated and humorous view of the events in the story. Over all, I really enjoyed the story, but felt that the ending was too sudden and too happy; unrealistically so. It was a very happy ending, but I wanted to know more, and felt that, it focused too much on giving everyone a fairytale ending, however unlikely that may be.

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper


Within the first five minutes of reading this book, I was wiping tears from my eyes. Heartfelt, eye-opening and raw, this story is great for all ages.

The main character is a little girl with all sorts of physical limitations, but no mental limitations, in fact, she's incredibly smart, she just has no way to share it, until she gets a computer to speak for her. This story makes clear the frustrations that come with a physical disability, and the strength of character it takes to overcome those disabilities.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy whatever day!

Happy Valentine's!!

A day filled with chocolate mousse and cheese fondue. All homemade.

Plus, a morning trip to Bookthing of Baltimore ( with Beth! Beth was my co-worker in Oregon over the summer and now she's out here for a US Fish and Wildlife internship. She just moved in to her new, temporary home in the Laurel, MD area. I'm super excited that she's here!!!

Also, I finally got word that I got the Living Classrooms job. It starts mid-March. Super exciting! Granted, it's only a temporary job, but I think it'll be lots of fun and give me some much needed Chesapeake Bay ecology lessons, as well as some actual boat experience. I'm nervous (what if I get seasick?!?!), but also very excited!

I'll be the Science Educator on the Skipjack Sigsbee.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Adventures in International Cooking!

I spent most of Sunday hanging out with Ariana. This involved a trip to the Asian market, as suggested by Chris. He wanted to go to H-mart, but I knew he had never experienced the wonder known as El Grande Supermercado, now known as All Green. It's a fantastic international supermarkets that is one of my favorite places to go. It's got a huge selection of crazy seafood, produce, meats, and more, along with normal American staples.

Really, my whole venture into more asian/international themed cooking has been brought to you by a book called Creole by Babette de Rozieres.


This books was down by the registers in Border one day, and I was bored, so I flipped through it. Love at first sight. Seriously. With recipes like Urchin Blaff, with pictures of this dish served in urchin tests, how could I not love it? The first recipe I am trying from it, is "Pan-fried Chicken Breasts with Cinnamon and Coconut Milk".

Being an experienced, international food shopper, I already have everything I need to make this dish. I have learned from Ariana, to always keep some coconut milk on hand, just in case I ever have the desire to make some thai-style curry.

Back to the International Supermarket Adventures!!! I have some pictures to share with you.

Crazy nuts! They look totally hardcore. The only reason I know they are nuts is because they were next to chestnuts and hazelnuts.

Durian! I have these trees on my farmville farm! But they smelled really good and now I am curious to try them someday. They were HUGE though. Like, bigger than my head. This was at the H-mart, where they also had kumquats and longan berries.

Some of the squid we bought today. CJ is currently making calamari. It keeps setting off the fire alarm because he is frying stuff, but so far, aside from the noise, it's turned out pretty well.

Removing the beak from the squid. CJ did his homework and checked out a couple on on-line video tutorials on how to clean whole squid. It was kind of cool.

And with a little bit of fresh squeezed lemon, the calamari tastes awesome!

Guess what else is on the way today?? More birnen-speck cake!

This is the place we originally found the recipe. We made it once before and we liked the flavor, but we knew it needed a little practice to get it right. I think this time will be better than before. It's in the oven right now.....mmm

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Job searching sucks.

Seriously! It does.

I had my interview today with Bon Appetit. Basically it was either, fill out new-hire paper work, or tell them no. It wasn't even an interview, they wanted to hire me on the spot. Which is cool, except that it's no better than what I am doing right now. So I filled out paper work. I can't make major decisions in minutes. I need time to digest and plan and day dream, etc etc. So now that I am technically in the process of being hired, I don't want the job. Crappy, I know.

Basically, we are still unsure of where CJ is going to be after the end of this month. We are still sharing one that makes finding a new job difficult. He may or may not still be at Borders. It's all up in the air. The only thing we know for sure is that his current position goes away at the end of the month. Whether or not there will be a new one/vacant one for him to step into is what is unknown. If there is not, they will keep him on, but cut his hourly wage...which is too low anyway. So he can't stay there if he takes a pay cut.

And frankly, I am over the mall. I am at the point where I am ready to move on to a real job. Another barista position is not a step forward. In fact, I think that since it's on a college campus, it's a step backwards for me. I am no longer a college student. Eventually, I want to go to grad school, but I shouldn't be on a campus until then, unless I am doing something applicable to my degrees.

So who knows where we will be next month. I am still holding out for this Living Classrooms job. I haven't heard from anyone yet, but I was told mid-January, so I am hoping to hear good news in the next week or so. It wouldn't be a big pay increase, but I would be working a lot less, to make about the same amount of money each month. In the summer, when their schedule gets busier, I will actually get paid more. And it's something I actually WANT to do, something that will help build my resume in the Environmental Science field. Plus, I'd get to learn about the ecosystems of the Chesapeake Bay, which is really exciting to me! I am a nerd, I know.

It feel really nice to be relaxing at home right now. I was off work today, but I ran a whole bunch of errands. I had that interview, and I went to IKEA to exchange our damaged stuff, then I picked up my external hard drive from UPS since they couldn't deliver it, and then CJ and I went to Navy Federal to re-apply for a consolidation loan, with me as a co-signer this time. Then we did our long over-due grocery shopping at Walmart and spent $110. Snap. That's a lot of food.

When we got home, I made dinner while CJ set up our new loveseat.


You can also see my new bookshelf that he put together. He's so manly. Or at least accustomed to IKEA furniture.

Here's a photo of the super awesome wine holder Mike Helfer's parent's gave us for Christmas.


Mike's step father is a bit of a hobbyist with woodworking, so he actually made the holder himself. They then went the extra step and got us a bottle of wine and two wine glasses. How cute are they?? The wine that's with the holder right now is one I bought at the Wine Bin. It's my new favorite wine store. They carry verdes from Portugal and when Ariana and Nick came over for fondue the other night, we split a bottle of sparkling muscat I bought there. IT WAS AWESOME. I will actually keep the bottle so I can remember what it is and buy more.

Plus they have tasting events and classes....and they are right next to the new, super giant Whole Foods. They can do no wrong!

Monday, January 11, 2010


For Christmas, a bunch of our Maryland friends got together and got CJ and I a giftcard to IKEA. And by giftcard, I really mean Ariana is holding on to $125 in cash for us for the purpose of buying a couch. I guess they didn't have a chance to get an IKEA giftcard, but that was the intention. Anyway, CJ and I drove up to White Marsh to check out the IKEA there. It was my first IKEA experience. Oh My GOD, the place is HUGE! It was kinda fun to see all the miniature rooms set up...but the warehouse part frightened me a bit. It was kind of barren, and at points I felt like CJ and I were the only people there. It was weird. But we went yesterday for a specific reason...there was a loveseat that was on sale for $99 on Sunday only. So we bought it. YAY! Mission complete.

Except that one of the pieces of the frame is broken...and one of the covers is missing I get to go back tomorrow. I will actually be in the area for an interview, so I called them that same day to let them know I would be coming in for an exchange, and to make sure they would have it in stock. So maybe tomorrow we will have a loveseat! We are slowly furnishing this apartment. Someday it will be a real home! I still haven't bothered to hang anything on our walls. I just haven't decided how I want to do it...and I don't have a hammer. Lol.

So my interview tomorrow is something I found on Craigslist. I think I already blogged about it, so yeah. There's nothing new to add, except that the interview is tomorrow. I will also be filling out an application that day too. Basically, it's full time, which is a plus, but if the pay rate isn't great, I'll be peacing out.

I am tired of the mall and tired of working two part time jobs. It's worked so far because CJ and I have needed to carpool. We still will, so I am not sure how it will all work out in the next month, but it's gotta change. It's time for retail to stop. I'm over it.

The book I am reading right now is really strange. It's interesting, but I don't know how I feel about it.

The writing style is intriguing, but it's really quite gruesome at times. It's kind of creepy, in fact.

BTW, I love getting advanced copies of books. And this book is PRETTY. It's hardcover, and as you can see from the image above, a very eye-catching image.

I FINALLY used my giftcards to buy an external hard drive from Now I am just trying to figure out how to get UPS to LEAVE THE DAMN THING IN THE BUILDING. It's under $100, the building has a key entry, but they must not have a key. It's obnoxious because the mail man has a key and leaves USPS packages inside the door all the damn time. They are going to try and deliver the package tomorrow...but I won't be here then either. So I will go to the website and tell them what to do. They didn't actually leave a UPS delivery attempt notice the first time, I just got an e-mail from WAY TO GO UPS. Failpile.

Anywho, I should probably go to bed. CJ is staying at his parent's tonight, as he has work in Annapolis at 6:30 am, and I have an interview in White Marsh at 11:30am (THE OTHER SIDE OF BALTIMORE FROM ANNAPOLIS) he's doing his own thing and I get to sleep in this cold ass apartment all by my lonesome. This is when I wish I had a dog to cuddle with. Or a space heater.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New in 2010!

Yeah, sorry that I haven't posted recently. It's been a little crazy with work, but nothing is really going on that I feel is blog worthy.

I am sick of working retail, and am continuing the job search for something a bit more substantial. I still haven't heard about the Living Classrooms people that I interviewed with, but probably won't hear from them for another week or so. I have an interview next week with an organization called Bon Appetit which is a cafe/catering place up at Gaucher College. It wouldn't really be all that different, and working a service job on a college campus would probably be kind of awful for a college graduate...but if they offer full time and pay well enough, it'd be enough for me.

Both Borders and Teavana have cut their payroll hours. Welcome to the post-Christmas season. It means I actually have days off, which is nice, but it also means less money. With the impending "I need to get my own car insurance" deadline, money might be a bit of an issue. It's not like I don't have any, it's just that I won't be saving any. I like saving it. I like seeing it add up in my bank account each month. It makes me happy, as sad and greedy as that sounds. Really though, it's about security. And feeling like a grown-up. I work full time and have a college degree, therefore, the next step in my life should be to save money in order to spend on things that come getting married and buying a house. But I also like having that money add up in my bank account because it makes me feel safe. If something happens, I can cover it financially. That's a big deal for me! I am on my own and I can financially take care of myself! I hope!

Having time off has been really nice, especially with my reluctance to go to work as of late. It's not like I wouldn't go, it's just that I don't want to be there. I am tired of all the bullshit of working in retail. I am sure there is plenty of bullshit elsewhere, but if I A) Got paid more and B) Felt like I was using the last 6 years I spent getting a degree, then I might be more willing to deal with the bullshit.

Always at the back of my mind is eventual wedding planning. I haven't really done anything for that, other than think about it. I know I want to make my own cake, I know the dress code for the bridesmaids and groomsmen and I know who I want to ask to be my bridal party, I just haven't bothered to yet. I need a date. That's the biggest thing, and I don't even know WHERE we are going to have it, which will affect the date. Plus, Annie is planning on getting married around the same time, so I need to know HER date, in order to plan my own date. I am her maid of honor, after all. Blech. This is all so complicated. Rachael got engaged after I did and she's getting married in September! Adrienne and Aaron got engaged just recently and they are getting married in December. So...I just feel like we jumped the gun with getting engaged and need to get on the boat with wedding planning.

Speaking of Rachael's wedding, it will probably be the next time I am in Oregon, which is mid September. I plan on being there for about a week, figure I can kill every bird in a 10-mile radius with that stone. Chris Jordan wants to come with us too, since he really wants to visit Oregon, and Ariana might be interested as well. Ben, I hope you are ready for us to take over your house! Hahaha...I am only sort of joking though. I imagine we'd fly into Portland and hang in Corvallis for a bit, then head down to Southern Oregon for a bit as well. It depends on the timing of everything, as I imagine Rachael's wedding will be in Corvallis, so I will need to be there for that. Who knows. It's far enough away I haven't really bothered to figure it all out yet.

Oh yeah. New Years. I didn't make any resolutions or anything. I had already made one to be less of a know-it-all (especially at work), but that was before January. Our New Year's party was our Friendsmas party. Basically, everyone in our friend group went to Chris, Aaron, and Adrienne's house and did a present exchange and then got drunk. I drank a lot, but I had a really fun time hanging out with everyone. We attempted to play a game called Dicecapades, which we had never played before. Learning a new game = FAIL when you are drunk. I attempted to play match maker and went for a drunk run, after Ariana and Mike and Nick, who had left. It was fun times.

Anywho, life here is a lot of work, work, work and a lot of sleep, sleep, eat. I feel like I very rarely have time to do anything else, simply because of the retail schedule that CJ and I live by.

Speaking of's about time to head to work....Joy.