Tuesday, August 30, 2011


In high school, I was a frequent migraine sufferer. Retrospectively, I blame them on all the stress of teenage angst. If I was anything in high school, I was overflowing with angst. (Sorry about that, parents!) But I'd sleep 'em off in the morning and be fine by the afternoon.

These past few days, I've been getting headaches. (Also, a hurricane passed through the entire east coast, save for Roanoke.) They... the headaches, became more frequent, and then last night, more severe. I texted my on-call physician, a much-loved cousin who is in fact a legitimate doctor and far superior to Web MD, who told me to just sleep it off.

So I slept. I slept for 12 hours. With a pillow over my head. I awoke this morning to an eerily blue room since I had pulled my curtains down and they really just diffuse the light more than block it. I have never missed the awesome shades of Europe with the metal slats on the exterior of the window that block out EVERYTHING more than I did this morning. I still had a headache.

Here I am, a few hours later, and it's still there. However, after 12 hours of sleep, there's not much I can do. So the computer is set to dim, the shades are drawn, and I'll crank out some more job applications Edgar Allen Poe style. I have no doubt in my mind that this is how he wrote some of his best work - in leggings, old glasses and oversized sweaters in a dark and eerily silent room, save for the dripping of the leaky sink and the buzz of the cheap AC unit. It's how The Raven was written. Fact.

I was excited to see that Peggy Olson takes Excedrin Migraine. Should I do the same, Peggy??

I flee the state on Thursday for a much-needed escape. Virginia, you may be for lovers, but I'm not loving on you right now.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Unemployment: So exciting it makes the world tremble in fear

Yesterday, I was on my computer, reading the news, gchatting with folks and halfheartedly looking up job openings when I felt my legs shake. At first I thought my legs were being weird, perhaps rebelling against me for two consecutive days of yoga. Then the shaking intensified and I got frustrated at my landlord, thinking, "Look, I know no one else is home right now because they all are good citizens with jobs, working to better our society, but I AM HOME and I PAY TO LIVE HERE so please desist with the renovations downstairs." That's when the glasses in the kitchen started to shake and my microwave almost fell off its cart, and I came to the realization that it wasn't renovations. So I looked out my window. Nothing. Then my friend in New York City asked me if I had felt something, and I was finally able to piece it all together.Roanoke is about 150 miles southwest from Mineral, VA where the earthquake originated, but as everyone knows from the abundance of news stories, everyone is fine, nothing went wrong, etc etc. It was unexpected because... we never have earthquakes here, as evidenced by my complete ignorance as to what was occurring. Friends as far north as Montreal said they felt the quake.

Funemployment has, thus far, meant large amounts of cleaning and forcing myself to "exercise" because I know I have no excuse now. After two days of yoga, today I opted to combine exercise with cleaning and vacuumed. Hey, hey, it's totally cardio. Stop laughing.

Let's discuss vacuums, shall we? When I moved into this apartment, my parents gave me their old vacuum so they could get a new one. And by "gave" I mean they didn't want their old one anymore because it was awful but have issues throwing things out so I got stuck with it. Whenever used, it would emit clouds of dust, leaving whatever roomed you vacuumed smelling like dirt. Curiously, the clear bagless part never seemed to fill up with anything, either. My theory? It picked up the dust from the floor and spread it around your room until it resettled to the floor you just theoretically cleaned. Your room doesn't even get to SMELL clean - it's awful.

In my effort to deep-clean the apartment for lack of anything better to do with my time, I asked Brittannica if I could borrow her new vacuum. This morning, I woke up early like a kid on Christmas morning, and vacuumed away. Let me tell you... after months, nay YEARS, of a dreadful vacuum, this was like vacuuming with unicorns and elves. This thing cleans and my apartment even has those fun vacuum lines on the carpet! This thing is legit, let me tell you.

So that's my life right now. Earthquake. Fake, half-assed exercise. Cleaning. Throw in some job hunting and you've got a pretty good picture of my day-to-day. Please, withhold your jealousy.

(Image cred to the hilarious tumblr jmckinley and his representation of DC's 2010 earthquake devastation)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I'm Done! (Essentially)

Dearest internet, I'm sorry it's been so long. You see, tomorrow is my final day as an AmeriCorps*VISTA. Today I packed up my office, organized my desk and my files, and took my most important origami dinosaur with me. I ate my final PB&J at work (let's be honest, there are still many PB&J left in my life), wrote my final, but brief, VISTA report, and wrote a "Welcome to your desk!" letter to my replacement, because I'm a dork.

It's weird to think that just a year ago, I moved down here to start this year, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to combat poverty and take on the world. I've become a little more of a realist, acknowledging that poverty is not solved in a year and there are a multitude of contributing factors to its existence. When I begin to worry that I haven't accomplished all that much, I take a look at my resume, which assures me that I won over $120,000 in funding for nonprofits this year. It assures me that I created a sustainable system for tracking funding prospects this past year, that I began implementing two planned giving campaigns, that I worked with a particularly complicated board of directors, and that I learned much more in one short year than many people do in entry-level development jobs that last three to five years.

My routine will change. Oh goodness, and we all know how I love routines. I get to start looking for glamorous part-time work soon (get pumped, local grocery stores, coffee shops and bookstores! Maybe I should work for a wine distributor) to have some semblance of income while I continue the job hunt. It's one of those things... while I'm sad to be leaving and nostalgia is hitting me like a brick wall, it's time to move on. One year at the poverty level is more than enough. I did what I could at the office, but I had done all I could. As I was packing up the office in my various reusable grocery bags (it's all I had in my car. Stop judging!), it finally sunk in that I was finished at my first job. My first job out of college - I finished it, and I rocked it. It started me on a career path that I am not only hopeful for, I'm excited about. I do love writing proposals, and development work is something I hope to perfect. Perhaps not every aspect, but ... private and corporate funding? We'll see. I still have one more day (of direct service. Yayyyyy painting!).

I have received a few inquiries as to what will happen to the blog post-VISTA, and for now all I can tell you is that I'll at least be writing until I find something full-time. I'll take it from there. Don't you worry, many tales of the job hunt are still to come. Do you know what's exciting, though? That education award I get from VISTA soon! Take that, student loan people!

postscript: I had an interview on Monday. I was equally as sweaty. I'll blame DC's awful humidity. Details to come only if I land that job.
(Image cred, again, to the fabulous Natalie Dee)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


In college I was absolutely that annoying girl who was all, "TV? Please, I don't own a TV." Then I would go to my friends' place and watch tv with them, all because I was too cheap to get a decent tv and cable. When I moved into my current abode with OfficeMate, we agreed that nice cable was a necessity since we weren't going to be spending any money doing anything else. Oh nice cable, it will be hard to go back. We never had cable growing up, and man is it NICE.

I like to pride myself on having pretty solid taste in tv shows. As a child, I enjoyed Reading Rainbow and Wishbone, and later grew into gems such as Sister Sister (admit it, you loved it too) and Home Improvement (thanks, UPN!). I was a HUGE Sopranos fan in high school, love House and have recently developed an appreciation for Mad Men. There is also a soft spot in my heart for the Office (early seasons only), How I Met Your Mother and 30 Rock, because I aspire to become Tina Fey.

I'm a HGTV junkie, but I blame that on being a woman. I try to only watch it when no one else is in the apartment, so as to not subject OfficeMate to programming for women full of commercials for yeast infection creams and tampons. There's just something so therapeutic about watching extraordinarily wealthy people shop for villas in Italy and wonder where they'll put their hot tub. I wish I had those problems.

This summer, I have found myself entrenched in America's Got Talent. Grammatical errors in their title aside (how did no one call them out on this?), it's entertaining and I have my top picks to go all the way. Then, one day, NBC had one of those annoying, "STAY TUNED SO YOU DON'T MISS OUR NEW SHOW!" ads.

And then I watched the new show, even though the whole time I kept saying, "This is idiotic. What a waste of my time." But it's true, I am now hooked and have yet to miss an episode of...

Love in the Wild.Yes. I said it. Love in the Wild. I have kept silent (except to a select few) about this addiction of mine for too long. I am no longer ashamed (lie. I'm still ashamed) of myself.

For those of you lucky enough to be unfamiliar with the premise, they take shallow, fake&bake, early 20 something who have given up on love (because, if you haven't found love by 24 you're obviously SOL forever) and throw them in Costa Rica hoping they'll cause drama to make for excellent reality tv. Oh, and how they do. People say things like, "I like that she cares about her appearance" and do awesome things like drop wooden statues on their feet and (SPOILER ALERT) get kicked out of the competition as a result. Last week, two couples went home! DRAMA.

So while I am excited about America's Got Talent tonight and the youtube contestants, nothing can compete with my excitement for tomorrow night. Gosh, I hope Mike & Sam make it! Or Miles & Heather, they're cute too.

I may regret admitting this to the internet, but this is the reality of poverty, guys. You're driven to watching such gems as Love in the Wild. (Honestly, with a logo like that, who WOULDN'T want to watch?)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Job Hunting, or "How to Question Your Worth While Trying To Make Yourself Seem Worthwhile"

The past few weeks have been filled with resumes, cover letters, awkward phone calls regarding the status of a job application, and wondering whether or not I should just join the circus. I used to be flexible as a child. I could be "She-Used-To-Be-A-Contortionist" Girl!

In reality, though, this process is terrible. After I finally find something somewhat worthwhile, I get my hopes up and begin imagining life in that city and what my coworkers would be like. The worst is that, when I get any sort of feedback, even a "Thanks for applying! We'll be taking your resume and cover letter into consideration! DON'T CALL US, WE'LL CALL YOU!" email, I begin to look up apartments in the corresponding city and then wonder if my imaginary dog and I will be within walking distance of a dog park. In the best-case scenario when they want to interview you, I just assume that we'll be together forever and they're going to offer me a six figure salary any day now for that entry-level development position at a nonprofit. Why wouldn't they?

Then there's the interview.
Then you sweat.
Then you begin to second guess yourself.
Then you don't hear back from them.
You wonder if maybe it's because they could tell you were sweating.
You begin to reconsider you deodorant preference.
Then you call them, even though they said, "Don't call us, WE'LL CALL YOU!"
They say, "Calm down! We'll call you." This just makes your more nervous.
You remind them of why you're a great fit for the job, while silently reminding yourself that THERE ARE OTHER FISH IN THE SEA and, you know what? You're a GREAT catch! Anyone would be lucky to have you!

Then you wait.
And then you find something worth applying to again. You begin to wonder what your coworkers would be like, and you start to google dog parks. It's an awful process.

I'll end this tirade with this lovely graph I made earlier today in Paint. Please note the scale ranges from Rainbows to Meh, and ends with a Toilet. Please excuse the poor resolution. I blame blogspot.