It's time...

...to take this baby private.

I have debated a long while, weighing the pros and cons of being accessible to the world-wide-web and the cons are starting to get heavy. I have endured cyber-stalking turned into the real-deal-figure-out-my-identity-and-exact-location-stalking for the sake of having a public venue to write about things that are important to me. I have also put up with personal criticism and slander. I'm a big fan of the 1st Amendment and I can handle a well thought out, intelligent argument. I will not, however, tolerate an ill-informed individual's rude comments about things they obviously know nothing about nor subject my loved ones to unwarranted ridicule.

It's going down in T minus 24 hours. So, dear ones, if you would like to have access to the goings on in my life in the future, please send me your email addresses and I will send you an invite.

Regretfully,

me

{Update. Obviously it never happened. I just had a good self-pity cry and then went on blogging for the world to see.}

Latest Project

We picked up a table for free from a neighbor. I volunteered my daylight hours to refinish it...Oh how I wish I were better at taking before pictures. So you will just have to imagine the table below in it's former state: worn,warm walnut stain and white seat covers that were no longer white, but something more like this...


I love how it turned out! I think my roommates would not appreciate if I did this, but I am tempted to put it on craigslist and sell it. What price do you think I could sell it for?



The Captain's Homecoming (illustrated)

I finally imported the short video I took at the airport when Tim came home. I kind of wish I had left it recording a little longer.

video

Ah...cute, huh? ;). Tim's mom sent us these sweaters. One of their family Christmas traditions is to all get matching somethings and take a picture together. I love traditions! They also wear something new on New Year's day. I didn't know this, but I wore a shirt he brought back for me from Iraq without knowing about the tradition. Chalk it up to intuition.


Last night we watched a show on the National Geographic channel about Green Berets in Afghanistan. I caught a glimpse of knowing in Tim's eyes as he watched and listened to some familiar sights and sounds. Even though he was on a big base in Iraq rather than out in the open in Afghanistan, I could tell it still struck a chord.

I'm so proud of Tim and his service for our country, so glad for his choice to be a dentist and not a Green Beret, and so lucky that he is back and adjusting so quickly.

Shhh....

I'm going to share a secret with you. I may or may not have had a two-person dance party via video chat once in my recent history. Okay fine, it's true. It was just a taste really--because how awkward is it to basically dance by yourself in front of a web cam? Very awkward. Well, when you're 8,000 miles apart you take what you can get. Sometimes I miss the days of looking forward to 10pm all day and staying up late to stare at a pixilated face. Well, even though real life, day-to-day relationships take a bit more work, I would not mind if I never have to decipher robo-tim's stories ever again. (That's what we called it when the connection was bad and I could hear every 3rd or 4th word. Robo-Tim).
Yes, in person dance parties are much better--especially while wearing socks on the bamboo floor. By the way, did you know that you can watch Latin dance lessons on YouTube? You can and we did and then we practiced and then we made a dance party playlist and we broke our 10pm self-imposed curfew by about an hour. Yes we did.

It's just a j.o.b.

Tim calls it "survival mode." I call it "desperation," or rather "reducing desperation." Either way, it took some amount of humility to walk into the mall the other day with a stack of the "retail" version of my resume. So much humility that I almost didn't go. In fact, Tim had to drop me off in front and then wait for me to make sure I actually followed through.

That's actually not true. Here's the real story. My mom reminded me the other day that God doesn't care what we do for work, He just cares that we work. So, I walked myself to the mall the first time. Once inside, I sat down on a bench, trying to restrain the tears of pride and sent a text to Tim that said, "this is more painful than I thought it was going to be," followed by a text to my sister Emily that said, "I'm at the mall to get applications and I need a pep talk." Her response was exactly what I needed to read and basically told me to shake it off, it would only be temporary anyway. After that, I dusted off my dress pants and straightened my sweater and walked in to Ann Taylor. The assistant manager on duty seemed as if she would hire me on the spot, said I looked like management material, and I was reminded how pathetically phenomenal my retail resume really is. While it was confidence boosting, it didn't take long for the high to fade.

Fast forward a week to find me sitting in Tim's car outside the mall, resisting having to go inside to follow up. A police officer flashed his lights at me and motioned for us to move along, I signed back to him. "I'm getting out," and he signed very angrily, "then get out! NOW!" Oh, it made me mad and I walked into the mall with an attitude. I marched to the Gap, where I had filled out the online application (a new process since my prior tenure as a Gap employee). On my way there I had to pass a kiosk where I had been previously hustled by Israeli sales people who convinced me to buy several heated hair styling tools which I later discovered I could get online for less than what I paid (even with all the "freebies" they threw into my bag) and am still mad about the money I wasted there. I couldn't help it. As the sales dude tried to reel me in I flipped my hair and snapped at him. "Do I look like I need one of those?" He sheepishly said, "No, you don't, but...." the rest of his pitch faded in the fury behind me. I felt a bitter satisfaction. I didn't have to be rude, but it did feel empowering.

I turned my resume in at the Gap, found out the names of the store manager and the hiring manager, then proceeded to Ann Taylor where I found out the store manager hadn't even seen my resume. I gave her a new copy and we scheduled an interview. I'll tell you what. In person is the way to get a retail job. When I went back for my AT interview, I also stopped by Gap and tracked down the manager and she interviewed me on the spot. Within a couple days I had job offers at both stores.

In two days I have my follow-up interview for a "real job". I call it a real job because it is full-time with benefits and a salary and paid time off, not because God gives brownie points for such a job over a part-time retail gig. Because He doesn't. After 2.5 months of searching, I think it will be ironic when I am offered the "real job" for the salary that I've been dreaming about (you know, the one that will allow me to live, eat, and get ahead) and I'll have to tell my new retail employers that instead of the "open availability" I stated before, I am only going to be able to work a couple evenings a week and some weekends. I would be very happy with that irony.

co-incidence

I have to keep reminding myself that I am a firm believer in "Everything Happens for a Reason" which in my world carries undertones of "relax and trust the intricate web of events, emotions, promptings, actions, etc. that eventually get you to where you want to be." But really, what I keep asking myself is, "Why didn't I call Debbie Williams FIVE weeks ago when I first got her info? Why?"

Entre me into the world of professional recruiting. After two months of doing this job search thing the hard way I finally got smart. Word to the wise, before you relocate, get in touch with a couple of good head hunters in your area of interest. Maybe I could've been employed before I even came out here...maybe not...maybe, just maybe everything does happen for a reason and this sticky string really is being woven into something that will glisten in DC's morning dew. Either way, I'm in a really good mood right now thanks to a phone call from my girl Deb saying she is setting up a meeting with some potential future employers and me for Tuesday.

And that's how it's done.